The Indian government has ordered a full investigation into the brutal murder of a whistleblower who wrote to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee about rampant corruption plaguing the leader's pet development project. Satyendra Dubey, 31, a civil engineering graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), had requested that his identity be kept confidential, but bureaucrats in the Prime Minister's Office did just the opposite. Dubey was shot dead on November 27 in the town of Gaya in Bihar state. According to the police, he was killed by contractors whose corruption he brought to the premier's attention. National outrage over his death has forced authorities to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation for an impartial and speedy probe. So far, as many as 18,000 IIT alumni from around the world and eminent Indians have signed a website petition addressed to Mr Vajpayee demanding that the murderers and those who leaked Dubey's identity be brought to justice, reported the Indian Express, the newspaper which broke the story. Dubey joined the Indian Engineering Service after graduation and was in direct charge of the 60km Aurangabad-Barachatti stretch of the Golden Quadrilateral highway project in Bihar state. The US$12 billion project to build a 6,000km highway network linking India's four major cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai - was launched by Mr Vajpayee with great fanfare in 1999. The first phase will be completed next year and the rest by 2007. On November 11 last year, Dubey wrote to the prime minister about rampant corruption and 'loot of public money'. He named criminals backed by politicians and police who bagged the biggest contracts for the 60km stretch, resulting in sub-standard quality and a slow pace of construction. While writing to Mr Vajpayee, he took all the precautions he could. Dubey wrote: 'Since such letters from a common man are not taken seriously, I am attaching my full particulars on a separate sheet of paper. Before moving the file, please remove the attachment [containing the particulars] to ensure secrecy.' Last December, the Prime Minister's Office forwarded Dubey's letter with the attachment to the National Highways Authority for investigation. Three months later, Dubey complained to both authorities in writing that he was receiving death threats because his identity had been leaked, but the letter was ignored. On November 27, unknown assailants pumped several bullets into Dubey while he was returning home.