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Last Updated: Monday, 2 February, 2004, 13:52 GMT
Suicides in Indian murder case
Satyendra Dubey
Murdered engineer Satyendra Dubey (photo: Indian Express)
Two men being questioned over the murder of an engineer in eastern India have committed suicide, police say.

They said the two men, Mukaddar Paswan and Shivnath Sao, died after consuming poison at their homes in Bihar state.

They were being questioned by federal detectives in connection with the death of the engineer Satyendra Dubey.

Mr Dubey was killed soon after he complained of corruption in a major road-building project, sparking a national outcry.

Mukaddar Paswan and Shivnath Sao were members of a hardline Hindu group, the Bajrang Dal.

The chief of Bihar's ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Laloo Prasad Yadav, has asked for the deaths of the two men to be investigated.

Families of the two men accuse the police of being responsible for their deaths.


Unknown gunmen killed Mr Dubey last November in Bihar state.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had asked for a federal probe into the murder, which has shocked India.

Mr Dubey, a 31-year-old civil engineering graduate from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), was working on the country's biggest-ever road project when he died.

Repair work on the highway in preparation for the monsoon season
About 250,000 people are working on the road project
Under the $12bn scheme, nearly 14,000 kilometres of roads will be built across India.

Mr Dubey was killed nearly a year after he complained to Mr Vajpayee and the road network authorities of what he said was widespread corruption in the project.

In letters to Mr Vajpayee and the network authorities, Mr Dubey alleged that public money was being "looted" from the project.

The Indian Express newspaper, which broke the story on the murder, reported that Mr Dubey had been killed after his name was leaked from the complaint he had sent to the prime minister's office and the road network authority.

His death sparked off unprecedented condemnation and sympathy in a country where there are frequent allegations of public money being siphoned off from large government projects.

Vajpayee demands murder inquiry
10 Dec 03  |  South Asia
India en route for grand highways
26 May 03  |  South Asia

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