A Public Works Department (PWD) engineer was assaulted in Sultanpur and issued life threats by a group of contractors,who allegedly have links with Minister of State for Tourism Vinod Singh.
The engineer,Rajiv Kumar,has been looking after the construction project of a 15-kilometre road. The cost of project is Rs 5 crore. The contractors have reportedly been forcing him to get the tender notice published in local dailies. But he defied them and got it published in national dailies.
The alleged attack took place on Tuesday evening and an FIR against unidentified goons was registered the same night. The name of the accused came to light on Thursday and the main accused,contractor Sanjay Singh,landed in the police net later. Efforts are on to nab the rest Dinesh Singh,Chanchal Singh and Vinay Singh.
The Uttar Pradesh Engineers Association president,AA Farooqui,said: Rajiv had informed the association that a group of contractors enjoying patronage of minister Vinod Singh had barged into his office on Tuesday evening,accompanied by armed goons.
The goons had manhandled him and threatened that he transfer the construction work in favour of their firm or face the music.
We met PWD minister Nasimuddin Siddiqui and sought his intervention. Siddiqui had talked to Vinod Singh,asking him not to extend his support to contractors involved in criminal activities, Farooqui said. He also instructed the Sultanpur SP to initiate stern action against the accused.
The Superintendent of Police,Sultanpur,RK Chaturvedi,however,denied that the accused had any connection with the minister. The engineer had not named anyone while lodging the FIR, he said. The minister has no link with the accused who have been identified during the investigation.
But the Kotwali Station House Officer Janardan Dubey said Sanjay Singh used to visit the minister often. Dubey also confirmed that the ministers PRO Anil Singh visited Sanjay at the police station after his arrest on Thursday.
The call details of the engineers phone helped trace the whereabouts of the accused, said Dubey. Despite repeated attempts,minister Vinod Singh and the engineer,Kumar,could not be contacted.
Deoria engineer seeks help
An executive engineer with the Flood Division of Irrigation Department in Deoria district,Jawahar Lal,too,fears for his life.
Lal had issued a tender on June 6 which had triggered threats from a group of contractors.
Farooqui said: The engineer has faxed a letter to me saying that he needed a transfer or he would be eliminated. Lal has also sent a letter to the Principal Secretary (Home) Kunwar Fateh Bahadur,seeking help as well,Farooqui said.