The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Priyanka call with goon alert
- Friend tells CBI Rizwanur spent 7 nights away from home on wife advice

Calcutta, Oct. 27: Priyanka Todi had phoned Rizwanur Rahman and warned him to stay away from his home, hinting that her father planned to send goons to “fix” him, a CBI official said today.

He added that Priyanka made the call on the night of September 8, hours after she had returned to her parents’ Salt Lake house.

The agency says it has cracked the mystery of why Rizwanur had spent seven nights away from his Tiljala Lane home between September 8 and the day of his death, September 21.

The computer graphics teacher had taken shelter at colleagues’ homes, fearing an attack by criminals, the official said. This was why he frequently changed his place of stay and didn’t even reveal it to his family.

“During their two-minute conversation on September 8, Priyanka enquired after Rizwanur’s well-being and asked him to stay somewhere else, especially during the night, saying her father Ashok Todi planned to send goons to his home. She suspected her phone was being tapped and so the conversation was kept brief,” the CBI sleuth said.

“She also told him the police might implicate him in criminal cases.”

The official said Rizwanur spent two nights at Swapnil Sengupta’s home, three at Arup Guha’s and another two with Debraj Banerjee. Swapnil lives in Garia; Debraj and Arup in Jadavpur. All three worked with Rizwanur at Arena Multimedia.

Rizwanur was at Swapnil’s home on September 8 night. Swapnil, a teacher at Arena Multimedia, told The Telegraph he was with Rizwanur when Priyanka called him.

“She told him to be careful, saying criminals might attack him,” Swapnil said, relying on what Rizwanur told him.

On September 9, she called Rizwanur again. “She asked him to have faith in her and promised to return soon. But she added that it might take more than seven days,” Swapnil said.

Priyanka asked her husband how long he could wait for her, and Swapnil heard Rizwanur reply: “For my entire life.”

“Rizwanur was very scared of the police as well as criminals. That’s why he kept changing his place of stay,” Swapnil said.

During the two nights Rizwanur spent with Swapnil, they discussed what strategy to adopt if Priyanka was not allowed to return.

“He was a fighter and was determined to bring his wife back,” Swapnil said. “I have told the CBI everything I know.”

Swapnil said Rizwanur called him twice on his mobile the morning he died. The first call came around 9.51am from a PCO. “I was on my way to Tollygunge Metro station in an auto-rickshaw. Rizwanur asked me where I was. When he learnt I was in an auto, he hung up saying he would call later.”

After getting off the auto, Swapnil called him back around 9.53. Rizwanur’s cellphone kept ringing but he didn’t receive the call. Around 10.15, Rizwanur called Swapnil again, this time from his mobile.

“He told me he was not at home and was talking to somebody about something very important and that’s why he didn’t receive my call. He did not sound depressed at all and seemed determined to bring his wife back,” Swapnil said.

“I asked him twice if he had any problem but he said ‘No’. He said he had some important calls to make and would call me back later.”

That call never came. Swapnil reached his office in Chowringhee at 11am, half an hour after Rizwanur’s body had been found on the Patipukur railway tracks.

“Now we are trying to solve the mystery of why Rizwanur had gone to Patipukur,” the CBI official said.

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