Murlidhar Singh, the chief engineer at the Water Resources Department (WRD) in Bihar’s Gopalganj district, was booked Thursday along with three others for allegedly burning to death a contractor.
Ramashankar Singh, 53, was the managing director of Ashiana Contracts Private Limited. He had gone to Murlidhar’s official residence in Gandak Colony to demand payment of Rs 85 lakh incurred on construction work allotted by WRD when the incident took place. His company had recently constructed Murlidhar’s residence, which was one of around 20 projects it had been awarded.
The victim’s family alleged the chief engineer, who is absconding, had demanded a bribe of Rs 15 lakh from Ramashankar. Ramashankar’s son, Rana Singh, on whose complaint a FIR was lodged, said: “The chief engineer had not been clearing my father’s long-pending dues. He had demanded a bribe of Rs 15 lakh to clear the bill.”
Confirming the incident, Gopalganj’s police station in-charge Prashant Kumar said the primary investigation suggested that Ramashankar had a heated argument over the delayed payment following which he was set ablaze.
The contractor was rushed to a Gorakhpur hospital where he succumbed to his burn injuries.
“We are looking into all aspects of the case. The sequence of events has to be further established. We have booked the chief engineer and three others on charges, including murder,” Kumar said.
Gopalganj DM Animesh Parashar has also ordered an inquiry.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines