| Alpana Jolly
Calcutta, Oct. 28: Rizwanur Rahman did not send a text message saying “mere jane ke baad awaaz uthana (raise your voice after I leave)”. The SMS attributed to him had only two words: “awaaz uthana”, the recipient said today.
Alpana Jolly, Rizwanur’s student at Arena Multimedia’s Chowringhee centre, said: “There were just two words… Sir wrote ‘awaaz uthana’, nothing else.”
She had received the message sent from Rizwanur’s phone on September 21, the day the computer graphics teacher died.
With transcripts of some of the text messages being leaked — apparently to create an impression that Rizwanur committed suicide — the words “mere jane ke baad” had become a subject of intense speculation.
Rizwanur’s colleague in Arena Multimedia, Debraj Banerjee, had spoken of the message. “Rizwanur sent a message to one of our friends saying ‘mere jane ke baad awaaz uthana’. I saw the SMS, but will not disclose the recipient’s name,” Debraj had said.
Debraj later modified his statement. “Actually, he wrote ‘jane ke baad awaaz uthana’. I disclosed to the CBI the name of my friend who received the SMS,” he said last Friday after two hours of being questioned.
Alpana tried to clear the air today, but the matter is yet to be closed as she did not save the message but deleted it while clearing her inbox. “I cannot remember the exact time of receiving the message… It was around 10.30am,” she said.
According to Alpana, she did not talk to Rizwanur on September 21 and learnt about his death around 3pm along with the other students at Arena.
CBI sources said she had got in touch with some other students fearing for Rizwanur. “She sent an SMS requesting Rizwanur not to take any wrong step,” a CBI officer said.
“I was a good student of his and he was a good tutor. He used to be very busy and I would interact with him through SMS,” Alpana said, explaining why they kept in touch through text messages.
Alpana added that she had never seen Priyanka Todi. "There were five coaching shifts and Priyanka was not in our group. I had no idea about the relationship between sir and Priyanka."
The CBI is now waiting for reports from the cellphone service providers of both Rizwanur and Alpana.
The investigative agency is also banking on the deposition of Jitendra Sharma, Rizwanur's former colleague. CBI officers have learnt that Rizwanur phoned him at 9.59am on September 21 and had a brief conversation.
"Rizwanur was not in touch with Sharma after he left Arena Multimedia some six months ago. Why did he suddenly call Sharma'" asked a CBI officer. "We have recorded Sharma's statement…. He has said some significant things which might help us understand what Rizwanur was going through."
The officer said Rizwanur told Sharma, who used to work as a systems manager at Arena, that he was scared after Priyanka returned to her parents following tremendous pressure.
"Rizwanur told Sharma about harassment by police and goons. He wanted to meet him for some help but Sharma was busy and asked him to call back later," the officer added.
Sharma told The Telegraph that Rizwanur had called him at 9.59 am. "He was very scared and told me the reasons…. I have told everything to CBI officials," he added.