Satyendra Dubey, p2

Contractors were also presenting forged documents to prove they were capable of doing the work. And they were altering the samples of soil and rock that they had to submit to show that the road had been properly constructed. However, what troubled Satyendra most was something else: It seemed that high-level employees of National Highways Authority itself were involved in the corruption. Secret information, was getting into the hands of the contractors, and they were using this information when they wrote their bids.

Satyendra realized that to do his duty he had to become a ‘whistle blower.’ He decided to report the corruption. He wrote directly to the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and sent a copy to the chairman of the Highway Authority. He knew he was doing something dangerous. He knew there was a risk that his letter would be circulated and seen by people who were involved in the corruption. And he knew that many engineers had been murdered in Bihar in the previous ten years. So he didn’t sign the letter. But because he wanted his report to be taken seriously, he did reveal his identity in a separate note.

Satyendra was right to be worried. He soon received a letter from the ‘Chief Vigilance Officer’ at the Highway Authority reprimanding him for breaking the rules by communicating directly with the Prime Minister. He wrote a second letter in reply saying that he had only been trying to make sure the project was as successful as possible. He also said he knew that his identity had been leaked because he had been “exposed to undesirable pressures and threats.”

Soon after writing this second letter, Satyendra travelled to another city to attend a wedding. He didn’t get back to Gaya until the middle of the night, after 3:00 a.m. He phoned his driver and asked him to come and pick him up, but his driver told him that he couldn’t start the car because the battery was too low.

No one knows exactly what happened next. Satyendra didn’t arrive at his home, so his driver went to look for him and found him dead by the side of the road. He had been shot.

Satyendra’s friends — and many other people — were sure that the murder had been arranged by corrupt contractors who were angry that Satyendra had reported them, and afraid of what he might do in the future. But they could prove nothing. A rickshaw driver came forward and said he had picked up Satyendra at the station and they had been attacked by robbers on the road. But after being questioned the driver disappeared — and was not found again. Arrests were made, but only of ordinary people who apparently had no connections with contractors or government officials. In the end the police decided that Satyendra was just another robbery victim.

- information from: http://www.skdubeyfoundation.org; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyendra_Dubey;India Abroad, 03.12.19; The Indian Express, 03.12.06 (Subrata Nagchoudhury and Varghese K George); The Telegraph (Calcutta) 04.10.26, 04.01.05