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Top cops stutter before CID

Calcutta, Oct. 6: The two highest ranked police officers Rizwanur Rahman had accused of trying to break up his marriage were today “examined” by the CID and often fumbled to explain their actions while denying some of the allegations.

Deputy commissioner (headquarters) Gyanwant Singh and DC (detective department) Ajoy Kumar were questioned separately as well as together for about four-and-a-half hours from 7.50am and the proceedings were shot on video.

Kumar, who had called Rizwanur and Priyanka to Lalbazar on September 8, claimed the girl had of her own will decided to spend the next seven days at the house of her father Ashok Todi, who disapproved of the marriage, sources said.

But the written complaint left behind by Rizwanur, who was found dead on railway tracks on September 21, says Kumar gave him two choices: to let his wife go for seven days or face arrest. “(Kumar said that) I will be arrested… on charges of abduction and stealing valuables,” he wrote.

Asked why he had acted this way despite knowing the couple were married and wanted to stay together, the city detective chief would only say that he had acted on a complaint.

He fumbled also when asked why his department had overstepped its geographical jurisdiction by summoning and threatening Sadique Hossain, a witness to the marriage, whom the Todis had accused of threatening them. Sadique lives in South 24-Parganas and the Todis are North 24-Parganas residents.

Kumar said he didn’t know that his subordinates had threatened Sadique.

This is contrary to what one of Kumar’s subordinates — anti-rowdy squad sub-inspector Krishnendu Das — had told the CID. Das and assistant commissioner Sukanti Chakraborty, the two other policemen named in the case, were questioned on September 29 and said they had acted on their superiors’ orders.

It has taken the CID a week since then to question Gyanwant and Kumar.

Gyanwant, who had summoned the couple on September 4, told the CID he was actually intervening on the Rahmans’ behalf after a friend of theirs had approached him. Earlier, he claimed, he had forwarded the Todis’ complaint against Rizwanur to the detective department.

He said that once he realised Priyanka wanted to stay with Rizwanur, he told them they were free to go home.

Rizwanur’s brother Rukbanur, however, has alleged that Gyanwant had repeatedly threatened Rizwanur and asked him to let Priyanka go with her parents.

Kumar was asked why he had engaged the anti-rowdy squad for “counselling” a newly married couple. He replied that since the original complaint from the Todis was about their daughter’s disappearance, he had engaged the squad in the case. “We have examined the two officers and recorded their statements,” Niraj Nayan Pandey, CID special inspector-general, said.

Police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee said the DCs were “not interrogated” and had met the CID officers merely to “assist” the probe. “If needed, even I will go,” he said.

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