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Satyendra Dubey murder accused slips past cops again
June 23, 2008 18:00 IST
Uday Chaudhary, one of the three accused in the murder of National Highway Authority of India engineer Satyendra Dubey, escaped on Monday from the Patna civil court premises where he was bought to be produced in court.
Exposing the laxity on the part of the accompanying police personnel, Uday slid his oversized handcuffs off and escaped.
Police sources quoting another accused in the case, Pinku Ravidas, said the accused slid the handcuffs down his wrist, outside the court of Special Central Bureau Investigation Judge B K Srivastava and escaped before the policemen guarding them could take notice. "I saw him run towards the Ganga river behind the court complex, then he vanished," Pinku told media-persons.
Earlier in December 2006, Uday had given police the slip in a similar fashion. In September 2005, another accused Mantu Kumar too had escaped from the court while in judicial custody.
Though both were re-arrested about a month after their escape, the trial in the case, already moving at a snail's pace, was then halted.
Two other suspects in the murder -- Shivnath Sah and Mukhendra Paswan -- had earlier died in mysterious circumstances and the CBI, which investigated the case, claimed they committed suicide.
Dubey, who was NHAI project manager supervising construction of the 60-km stretch of the Golden Quadrilateral Project between Baracatti and Aurangabad, was shot dead at Gaya on the night of November 27, 2003, when he was on his way home from the railway station.
As the murder came barely months after he had written to the Prime Minister's Office about the alleged corrupt practices of the official-supplier nexus in the execution of the project which was leaked, the government, suspecting the involvement of those against whom Dubey had pointed an accusing finger in the crime, ordered a CBI probe.
The CBI, however, later concluded that the whistle-blower was killed by petty criminals in the course of robbery.
Meanwhile, Patna senior superintendent of police Amit Kumar said a manhunt has been launched to apprehend Uday Chaudhary, a native of Katari village in Gaya district.
"We hope to arrest him soon," Kumar said, adding that the Gaya police too have been informed and asked to take necessary action.
Asked if any action was being taken against the policemen accompanying Uday to the court, Kumar said, "It is too early to say anything about it right now. Investigations are on and appropriate action will follow."