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UP engr’s death: his classmates seek justice

Three decades after they went their separate ways,the class of ‘79 at the IT-BHU has reunited for a purpose.

Three decades after they went their separate ways,the class of ‘79 at the IT-BHU (Institute Of Technology,Banaras Hindu University) has reunited for a purpose. They have joined hands with the sole purpose of getting justice for the family of their slain batchmate Manoj Kumar Gupta.

Gupta,an executive engineer with the Public Works Department,was tortured,electrocuted and beaten to death in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh last month. Local BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari and his accomplices,who were arrested on charges of murdering Gupta,were reportedly enraged at Gupta’s refusal to contribute money for BSP chief Mayawati’s birthday celebrations.

Several of Gupta’s batchmates have now pledged to contribute money for issuing advertisements to keep Gupta alive in public memory while others are trying to get in touch with lawyers to fight the case in case they seek a legal recourse.

“We are in constant touch with the family. Our first step is to ensure that Tiwari is punished. Once this is done,we want to take up the larger issue of corruption and push for political reforms,” said Vikas Suri,speaking for his batchmates.

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Suri,managing director of a multimedia firm at Powai,remembers Gupta as a good mimic who was active in dramatics during his college days.

The group has been speaking to those behind the fight for justice in Manjunath murder case in UP (the IIM-Lucknow passout,who was a sales officer of Indian Oil Corporation,was killed for trying to prevent a petrol pump from selling adulterated fuel to consumers). Plans are afoot to meet and draw from experiences of former IPS official Kiran Bedi,retired high court judges and mother of Nitish Katara.

“The extent of Tiwari’s clout is evident from the fact that of the 14 criminal cases lodged against him,which includes attempt to murder,the police dismissed 10 with final reports. We want to mobilise public support for the case as our batchmates in Delhi are using their contacts in political circles for our cause,” said Sunil Saraswat,a senior engineering executive in a multinational firm.

First published on: 17-01-2009 at 03:21:07 am
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