Calcutta, Oct. 25: Priyanka Todi had feared foul play by father Ashok Todi to break up her marriage with Rizwanur Rahman.
The apprehension figured in a letter by the couple addressed to Ajoy Kumar, the erstwhile deputy commissioner of police (detective department) who was transferred after the controversy broke. The letter carries signatures that read “Rizwanur Rahman and Priyanka Todi”.
The letter (see graphic) mentions how the couple were threatened with “dire consequences” if they continued to stay together at 7B Tiljala Lane, the Rahmans’ home.
“We would like to inform you that our father-in-law/father may engage some anti-socials/criminals to kidnap us or may try to forcefully abduct us. Some antisocials are coming to our place and threatening us of dire consequences if we continue to stay together at our place,” said the letter that was submitted to the office of the deputy commissioner (detective department).
The letter is dated 03/09/07 — two days after Priyanka left her home and 18 days before Rizwanur died — and carries the seal of the deputy commissioner’s office in acknowledgement of receipt.
The CBI, which is investigating the case on a high court directive, took possession of the letter recently.
The letter assumes significance because Priyanka had been quoted as telling those who quizzed her that she did not believe her family would have gone to the extent of killing Rizwanur.
But the letter attributed to her indicates that Priyanka and her husband feared the worst. A telling line in the missive says: “Please be informed that if anything happens to us the person who will be responsible is Mr Ashok Kumar Todi.”
A CBI officer said: “It is clear from the letter that the couple were very scared. But Priyanka did not tell us about the letter. Neither did she tell us about the anti-socials.”
The letter also makes a passing reference to attempts at bribery — an issue that has become a raging controversy now. “They (the anti-socials) are trying to threaten and bribe our people so that somehow the girl is sent back to her parents,” the letter says.
The couple signed off by imploring the police to “provide us protection”. Instead, senior police officers threatened Rizwanur with arrest on trumped-up charges of abduction and theft.
Five days after the letter reached the police, Priyanka returned to her parents’ home.
Copies of the letter were sent to the office of then police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, assistant commissioner Sukanti Chakraborty, DC (special), DC (south) and the officer-in-charge of Karaya police station.
An official of the detective department at Lalbazar confirmed that the letter was received and later forwarded to Ajoy Kumar as well as to the former police commissioner.
“We may have to interrogate Priyanka again as the letter contradicts her earlier statement,” a CBI officer said.
CBI officers suspect mischief behind yesterday’s leak of the transcript of text messages found in Rizwanur’s phone, adds our special correspondent in Delhi.
The details were leaked on the same day the CBI had asked some senior police officers in Calcutta to be prepared for questioning.
The CBI is also looking at the call records of the officers. At least one officer had called up a police station enquiring about Rizwanur the day he died.