I received an email from AIBA (Association of ITBHU Alumni), of which I am a member. Am reproducing it below:
It’s the 13th day since the tragic event on Dec 24, 2008, when Manoj Kumar Gupta (1979 Civil Engineering, IT-BHU), a Class I Executive Engineer with UP PWD was brutally assaulted, beaten, tortured and killed by the local MLA, Shekhar Tiwari and his partymen. If you have been following the news in the media, as of yesterday, the MLA has confessed to his crime and said that he did it because Manoj was not as pliant to his illegal requests as his predecessor, and was not greasing the palms of the local politicians. The investigations into the case are on, and the state government, run by the party to which the MLA belonged, is trying its best to regain its image after having initially hinted at this being a case of PWD Engineers fighting over contract commissions. Irrespective of all this, the fact remains that a sincere, conscientious and law-abiding citizen lost his life for standing up to
An obituary of this hero, our co-alum, shall appear in the pages of the Hindustan Times (all editions) on Sunday, Jan 4, 2009.
Please take some time to read the obituary and dwell upon the event, and send up a silent prayer for Manoj. His family must know how we feel for him.
Finally, we request you to forward this email to as many of your friends, colleagues, relatives and contacts as you can. If not, call them on the phone and ask them to look up the newspaper. If each and every one of those people see the obituary and send up a prayer for justice, we think justice might be done. They say there is power in numbers, and if there was a time when we, as alumni of one of the greatest institutions of this country, can use this power, it is NOW!
This is no joke, no spam, no marketing gimmick. Let us not ignore it. We owe this to the noble soul of Manoj Kumar Gupta, but more than that, we owe it to ourselves, as citizens of India.
Posted below is the message of condolence sent to his family on behalf of all alumni by Dr. B.B.Dhar, the president of AIBA.
Dear Mrs. Shashi Gupta and family,
We, the alumni of the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, recently learnt of the shocking, tragic and dastardly crime that so cruelly snatched away a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a friend from his family and friends.
We all, and specially the B.Tech. batch of 1974-79 to which dear Manoj belonged, deeply condole the sad and untimely death of a man who was willing to sacrifice his life but not his principles. We know that no words of solace, no display of grief can change or compensate for what has been brought about by this totally shameful, despicable and lawless act of the political mafia; but we stand united as one – all the thousands of engineers who studied at BENCO, TECHNO, MINMET and IT-BHU over the last few decades and imbibed the sense of integrity, fearlessness and patriotism at this great institution founded by the Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviyaji – in condemning this horrendous act of violence and brutality. As fellow alumni, our heads are held high because of the supreme sacrifice made by Shri Manoj Kumar Gupta. As the citizens of this country, our heads hang in shame at the way elected law-makers became brazen law-breakers.
I am joined by the entire IT-BHU alumni community, in praying for everlasting peace for the soul of our dear departed friend. May the Almighty give you the courage and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss of a brave and noble man.
Dr. B. B. Dhar