| Priyanka Todi’s personal car leaves the gates of the Todi home in Salt Lake’s CG Block on Friday. Picture by Amit Datta
Tumhari himmat kaise hui meri beti ko chhoone ki' (How dare you touch my daughter) — this was the first threat hurled by Ashok Todi at Rizwanur Rahman as soon as he stepped into 7B Tiljala Lane on the night of August 31.
That set the tone for Todi’s pressure tactics on his son-in-law and daughter, as he tried desperately to separate them.
His threats even prompted Priyanka, 23, and Rizwanur, 30, to pen a letter to Lalbazar seeking police protection and stating that if anything happened to them, the person responsible would be their father/father-in-law. A copy of the letter written by the two on September 3 was published in The Telegraph on Friday.
CBI sleuths said on Friday they may question Priyanka again to find out why she had not told them a word about how her father had threatened the couple on the night of August 31. “We will place the allegations before her and ask her to explain whether it really happened,” said a CBI official.
Around 6pm on August 31, Ashok Todi had rushed to their Tiljala Lane home as soon as he came to know that his daughter had married Rizwanur. He was accompanied by brother Pradip and cousin Anil Saraogi.
“Priyanka had informed her father about the marriage around 4pm. Since then, she and my brother were very tense. They knew Ashok Todi would land up any moment,” recounted Rizwanur’s brother Rukbanur.
“The moment Rizwan and Priyanka learnt that they had arrived, they entered the bedroom and sat on the bed. They were holding hands,” he added.
“Where is Priyanka'” demanded Ashok Todi at the door. As he was led into the bedroom, he caught sight of the couple with their hands clasped together.
“Let go of her hand at once,” Todi shouted at his son-in-law. He then turned to his daughter and thundered: “You leave this place and come with me.”
According to Rukbanur, it was Priyanka who first protested. “She told her father that she would not leave Rizwanur since he was her legally married husband,” said Rukbanur. “Rizwanur joined in and told Ashok Todi that no one could separate them since they were married under the Special Marriage Act.”
The Todi brothers and Saraogi then asked for chairs and sat down in the room. Within minutes, a convoy of cars entered Tiljala Lane. Todi’s brother Saket Todi, sister Neha and Priyanka’s cousin Navin Todi all came into the small Rahman residence.
“All of them started pressuring Priyanka and Rizwanur,” said Rukbanur. “Rizwanur stood his ground and Priyanka kept repeating that she would not return to her Salt Lake home and stay on with her husband.”
Ashok Todi stayed put through the night, threatening Rizwanur of “dire consequences” if he did not let his daughter return home with them. He tried everything — from offering Rizwanur money to warning him about his “power”.
At one point, Ashok Todi asked his son-in-law if he had the courage to change his religion for the sake of Priyanka. When Rizwanur said he did, Todi changed his stance and went back to threatening him.
“Tumhein koi andaaz nehi hain iska nateeja kya ho sakta hai (You have no clue what the consequences of your action can be),” Todi shouted at Rizwanur, said Rukbanur.
The other family members of Priyanka also threatened Rizwanur before leaving the house around 2am and heading straight for Karaya police station. “Now wait and watch. Within minutes, you will have to pay for what you have done,” was the parting shot of one of them, Rukbanur recounted.