Monday, May 16, 2011

The price of clean

Say, the PWD engineer decided he wasn’t going to attend this enormous cost-cutting party. Say, he fined the contractor or blacklisted the firm. Can you imagine it? I can: Engineer babu is out alone one evening when he finds himself surrounded. Or there’s the ratatatatat of machine gunfire. Or perhaps, he tumbles out of a high window in a public place.
That’s how it was for Yogendra Pandey, executive engineer with the public works department (PWD). That he ‘fell’ to his death from the collectorate is known. That he had fined and blacklisted some contractors (and was considering blacklisting more) is known.
That he was beaten up is known. That he asked for security cover twice between 2008 and 2009, but was not given police protection is known. Then in 2009, he either jumped or was pushed from the highest building in Sitamarhi.
Which was it? Jump? Push? Either way, he was killed.
Engineers working with the government have a bit of a reputation. One strong indicator is that they’re much in demand as bridegrooms amongst dowry-happy dads; in the north particularly, it is taken for granted that money will be made ‘over and above’. But on the other hand, there’s Pandey. And he’s dead.

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