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Driver hole in Rizwanur theory
‘Body by tracks, my train didn’t hit him’

Calcutta, Oct. 2: S.P. Sinha, who was the first person to see Rizwanur Rahman’s body on September 21, has said the 30-year-old was not hit by the train he was driving, according to sources.

The body was lying beside the tracks between Bidhannagar Road and Dum Dum Junction, the driver of the Sealdah-Burdwan local that passed the spot around 10.30am has told police.

Sinha said he alerted guard S.K. Sarkar on his walkie-talkie, and he informed the Dum Dum control room.

“The driver said he did not see Rizwanur either coming on the track and getting hit or being pushed in front of the train,” a CID official said.

Both Sinha and Sarkar were interrogated today by the CID, which is probing the death of the youth who was being threatened by his in-laws and Lalbazar since he married the daughter of businessman Ashok Todi in August.

Eastern Railway officials echoed the CID official. “The guard’s report merely stated that a body was lying there,” a railway official said. “The report did not say that the train had hit Rizwanur.”

The train usually leaves Sealdah station at 10.15am but on that day, the departure was delayed by eight minutes. Sinha told investigators that there was a delay in getting the rake. The train crossed the spot around 10.30am.

Eight minutes before the BS1 Up local that Sinha was driving, a Sealdah-Bongaon train had passed the spot. But that driver did not report seeing a body.

This would appear to give the lie to claims that Rizwanur committed suicide — as police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee has said — or that he was accidentally run over by a train.

“No other driver or guard had left any message. We spoke to railway police who told us that other drivers should have informed the control room if the body was noticed earlier,” a CID official said. In the morning rush hour, trains operate at intervals of a few minutes.

Investigating officials feel it is possible the computer graphics teacher was murdered and his body dumped on the tracks in the interval between the Bongaon and Burdwan trains.

Residents of two neighbourhoods by the tracks had earlier told The Telegraph that it did not appear Rizwanur was knocked down by a train. His head was smashed but the face was intact.

The residents, who often see bodies of suicide and accident victims, pointed out that Rizwanur was lying face up, with legs stretched straight and hands crossed on his chest — almost as if he had been carefully placed there.

The CID has found that Rizwanur had received a call from a telephone booth in Lake Town on the morning of September 21, immediately after which he left his Tiljala home.

“The call statement of Rizwanur’s cellphone indicated that the call came from a telephone booth,” said a CID official. “Rizwanur’s body was found lying on the tracks near Patipukur, which is close to Lake Town — a 15-minute walking distance. So it is possible he rushed to the area on receiving the call and might have been killed there before his body was dumped by the tracks,” the official added.

At 10.10am, Rizwanur had called an NGO to which he had turned for support in the face of police harassment.

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