The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CBI in poison death web

Feb. 2: The Satyendra Dubey murder case blew up again with the CBI today accused of poisoning to death two suspects.

Shivnath Sao and Mukendra Paswan, who were on Saturday interrogated about the killing of the IIT engineer working on the Golden Quadrilateral highway project, died last night. Initial reports said the duo had committed suicide by consuming pesticide because of torture by the CBI.

But an FIR filed in Gaya on the basis of a complaint by Baiju Nath Sao, Shivnath’s father, said the two had been poisoned by the CBI. “My son had no criminal record. I do not know why he was picked up for questioning and torture over the past few days,” Baiju Nath said.

The CBI has denied any hand in the deaths. “We, in the CBI, do not resort to any torture and mainly confine our investigation to thorough questioning,” a spokesperson said.

“The alleged suicide incident had taken place 25 hours after they were questioned on January 31. The agency should not be blamed for it.”

But the deaths gave Laloo Prasad Yadav a stick to beat the Centre with. “The two were about to reveal the names of those involved in Dubey’s murder and so they were eliminated. They did not take poison on their own but were administered the lethal dose by those involved,” the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader said.

Superintendent of police Sanjay Singh said in Gaya that an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent would handle the twin deaths.

“If necessary, we will seek sanction from the Centre for custodial interrogation or arrest of the CBI men probing the case,” he said. Police have filed a murder case against CBI officials without naming anyone, Singh added.

Sao and Paswan, both in their twenties and local Bajrang Dal activists, were served notices on January 25 to make themselves available for questioning after the local police informed bureau officials that they had allegedly committed a robbery-cum-murder in the past, CBI sources said. Police in Gaya have, however, said the two did not have any “obvious” criminal record. While Sao used to run a grocery shop, Paswan was jobless.

The two were questioned on January 27 and again on January 31, the sources said. They left for their home in Katari, near Gaya, around 4 pm on the same day. They were rushed to hospital yesterday and died there.

Quoting the post-mortem report submitted by a five-member panel of doctors, Gaya district magistrate Brajesh Malhotra said the two died after taking Sulphos, a pesticide, and no injuries were found.

Some residents gathered outside the hospital last night and pelted stones. The investigating team in Gaya has been moved to safety.

Dubey, an IIT engineer, was shot dead in Gaya on November 27 soon after writing to the Prime Minister on the murky dealings in the highway project.

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