The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Long snore over Todi

Calcutta, Oct. 7: Seventeen days have passed since Rizwanur Rahman died and his brother Rukbanur filed a complaint holding Ashok Todi, the father of Priyanka Todi, responsible for the death.

But the CID, the agency probing the case, has initiated no case against Todi, who has been questioned twice so far.

With talk of the transfer of police officers hogging the limelight, The Telegraph looks at a crucial issue that could help answer whether it was suicide or murder.

Who should have acted'

Rukbanur lodged the complaint with Karaya police station on September 21 midnight, hours after Rizwanur’s body was found. The complaint held Todi responsible.

“We forwarded the complaint to Dum Dum GRP (Government Railway Police) since the place from where the body was recovered fell under their jurisdiction. So, our hands were tied,” an officer of Karaya police station said.

The matter was with the GRP for two days, but the agency restricted its action to only sending the body for post-mortem. On September 24, the chief minister handed over the probe to the CID.

“The case diary went from the GRP to the CID. So, it was the CID’s responsibility to start the case,” former city police chief Nirupam Som said.

What could have been done'

Till date, the CID has been chasing it as an unnatural death case. But many in the police department feel that the investigators should have recorded an FIR and started a case against Ashok Todi with specific charges.

“An FIR could have been drawn from Rukbanur’s complaint. This process is followed in most cases,” Som said.

After receiving the case diary, including Rukbanur’s complaint, from the GRP, the CID could have converted the unnatural death case into a specific case.

“Rukbanur’s complaint was specific. So the person against whom such a complaint has been made should have been slapped with charges like murder and criminal conspiracy. He should also have been slapped with charges of misleading law enforcers,” a former deputy commissioner said.

In seven days, Todi had lodged three complaints against Rizwanur. The list of charges included abduction and wrongful confinement of Priyanka and stealing valuables.

“The charges were false as Priyanka is an adult and the police should have taken action against Todi,” Som said.

What has the CID done'

The CID has examined 68 people and has recorded the statements of 14 people, including those of deputy commissioner (headquarters) Gyanwant Singh and deputy commissioner (detective department) Ajoy Kumar.

It has submitted an interim report to the government. The interim report is inconclusive on the most important question: whether it was suicide or homicide. The CID has ruled out the possibility of accident.

What is the CID saying'

The CID is insisting that its investigators are going by the book.

“The doctor is waiting for the viscera report. We can start a specific case only after receiving the surgeon’s final opinion. Till now, we are not sure whether Rizwanur’s death is a case of suicide or homicide. We don’t want to arrest people without becoming sure what exactly happened,” said Mukul Sengupta, inspector-general (I) of the CID.

Viscera reports assume significance when substances such as poison are suspected to be the cause of death. In Rizwanur’s case, the post-mortem report has said he died of a head injury.

What is Rizwanur’s family saying'

Rukbanur said he could not forget the night of August 31, when Ashok Todi had gone to the family’s Tiljala Lane home after being told of Priyanka’s marriage.

“Before leaving the house, he warned Rizwanur that he would make my brother’s life difficult… And so he did by joining hands with top cops at Lalbazar police headquarters. We want action against him,” he said.

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