"The MLA, Shekhar Tiwari, who has criminal antecedents, was arrested late in the evening in Akbarpur police station area of Kanpur rural in connection with the murder of engineer M K Gupta," police sources said.
"BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari and his two associates--Manoj Tyagi and Bhatia-- forcibly entered the house of engineer Manoj K Gupta at Gail Vihar colony in Diviapur police circle here last night and started beating him severely," according to a report lodged with the police by his wife Shashi Gupta.
"The entry and exit of the MLA was recorded at the gate of the colony between 3 am and 3.30 am. The MLA later left Gupta at Diviapur police station in an unconscious state at around 5 am", Director General of Police, Vikram Singh told reporters adding that strict action would be initiated against the guilty.
"A case under various sections of IPC relating to murder, wrongful confinement and causing bodily hurt has been registered against Tiwari, and two others. Provisions of the Gangsters Act would also be invoked against them," Singh said.
"Search is on for the MLA. The MLA has a history sheeter in which cases of murder and abduction are booked against him. He and his two workers are said to be absconding. They would be arrested soon," police said.
The MLA had allegedly demanded Rs 50 lakh from the engineer for the chief minister's birthday celebrations next month and he is believed to have expressed his inability to provide that. After the beating, Gupta was taken to the local police station by the MLA in his car and left there. From there he was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.
The killing evoked instant condemnation from political parties which attacked the Mayawati government and demanded her resignation. They said Mayawati had come to power promising "crime-free and fear-free" rule and her own party's MLA was behind a murder of an official, they said.
Slamming the UP government, BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said that the act was a barbaric one and tough action should be taken against those responsible. He said," Such barbaric acts has no place in a civilized society and hence they should be condemned to ensure they are not repeated."
"It is a criminal case and those found guilty will not not be spared. Sternest action is being taken. An MLA Shekhar Tiwari has also been named in the case and action under various sections of IPC and Gangster Act was being taken," Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said at a hurriedly-convened press conference in Lucknow.
"A criminal incident should not not be given political colour," Shekhar Singh said dismissing allegations of extortion angle in the murder. "Chief Minister Mayawati has nothing to do with the case. It's a criminal case and those found guilty will not be spared."
"It's upto you to decide (money demand for Mayawati's birthday) to link this incident with any other theory. I will not not say anything on this. Even the victim's family members, who are making allegations, were not aware of the incident till 11 am", he said.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)