The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Versions differ on deal
Queries over money trail

It was a tale of two rooms on Thursday as the CBI probe into Rizwanur Rahman’s mysterious death pitted the Todi family against those allegedly offered large sums of money to separate Priyanka and her husband.

In one room on the first floor of Nizam Palace, Priyanka’s uncles Pradip Todi and Anil Saraogi insisted that they had not sought realtor Hasan Ali’s intervention in the matter.

In the adjoining room, the Palm Avenue-based strongman reiterated what he had told The Telegraph on October 25 — that Pradip Todi and Anil Saraogi had approached him through a leading solicitor’s firm. They had also offered Hasan “any amount of money” needed to get Priyanka out of Rizwanur’s Tiljala Lane home and back to her parents in Salt Lake.

“They were interrogated separately, since we wanted to clarify certain things related to the case but it would not be proper for me to go into the details,” said Arun Kumar, the CBI joint director leading the probe.

Sources, however, claimed that Pradip Todi and Anil Saraogi were called in early on Thursday to dig out details of what Ashok Todi had referred to as a “settlement” to try and separate Priyanka and Rizwanur.

Priyanka’s father Ashok Todi had admitted during his 10-hour-long interrogation on Wednesday that the family had been trying to reach a “settlement” with Rizwanur and get his daughter back home.

The CBI officers grilling Ashok Todi were trying to pick up the alleged money trail by quizzing Pradip Todi, Anil Saraogi and Hasan Ali.

“I’m not sure what they both told the CBI officers but I have clearly told the investigating authorities how they had approached me to intervene in the Priyanka-Rizwanur matter soon after they learnt about their marriage. If they are denying having met me on this matter, they would be committing a terrible mistake,” said Hasan, after the CBI session.

While the two uncles of Priyanka’s were questioned for almost 10 hours, Hasan was at Nizam Palace for about two hours. His session with CBI officers was marked by several short breaks, as the interrogators and the stenographer moved from one room to another, constantly comparing notes.

“The idea was to get into the details of the alleged financial deal struck to get Priyanka back home. Money matters could prove vital in cracking the case and so we spoke to the three almost simultaneously. Hasan’s version of events did not match those of Todi’s and Saraogi’s,” said a CBI officer.

The other names cropping up repeatedly as the CBI sniffs out a money trail are those of Majid and Pappu, both residents of Shamsul Huda Road, who had played a part in the attempted “settlement” to separate the couple.

“Some loose ends remain to be tied up,” admitted a sleuth.

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