The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Too perfect a suicide
- Holes in police theory on Rizwanur

Rizwanur Rahman was found dead on the railway tracks between Ultadanga and Dum Dum last Friday. The Telegraph visited the spot and spoke to some residents of Bidhan Pally and Shanti Colony, bordering the rail tracks, who had found the body of the 30-year-old.


At 10.35am, Ashish Das, a resident of Shanti Colony, was the first to see the body of a youth lying on the rail tracks, blood oozing from the head.

The back of the head had been blown off. No other signs of injury were visible. “His handsome face was intact,” another witness said.

The youth was sporting a white shirt, “greyish” trousers and leather shoes. In his shirt pocket was a cellphone, a piece of white paper (with something written on it), the picture of “a girl”, a Rs 50 note and a few coins. On his left wrist was a watch with white dial and black band.


Madan Kumar Ghosh of Bidhan Pally has seen bodies of several suicide victims. “This stretch between Ultadanga and Dum Dum witnesses around two deaths a day. We handle suicide cases every other day. Rizwanur’s did not seem like an ordinary case of suicide,” Ghosh said.

Rizwanur was lying on his back, facing up. His head was on the third track and his legs were stretched out straight towards the second track. Both his hands were on his chest.

“In suicides, the body is almost always found face down and the legs are at angle. The arms are flung wide. This time, it was almost as if the body had been placed carefully on the tracks,” a witness said.

No other marks of injury were seen and Rizwanur’s white shirt was almost spotless. “Most bodies that we recover from the tracks after a suicide bear cuts, scratches and multiple injuries. There is invariably some grime and blood on the shirt,” another witness said.

Police acted with uncharacteristic alacrity. They arrived within half an hour of the first call and swiftly removed the body. “A death on the tracks is a routine affair here and the railway police take at least three hours to turn up and remove the body. But on Friday morning, they were at the spot in less than half an hour and quickly did the needful,” said a resident of Shanti Colony.

“The very next day, a boy died in an accident around 6pm and the body was not removed till after midnight.”

Rizwanur’s mobile was ringing frequently. “We asked the men who had come to remove the body to receive the call as that could help identify him, but they refused. That appeared strange, as if they already knew who he was,” said a witness.


The location. Why would Rizwanur come to Ultadanga-Dum Dum from Rajabazar, where he had reportedly gone to meet a lawyer in the morning'

The timing. What could have happened between 10.15am (when he called up Sujato Bhadra of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and fixed up a meeting at 2.30pm) and 10.35am to drive him to his death'

The nature of the injury. What could have caused the back of his skull to be smashed so badly' A former officer from the homicide department said Rizwanur must have suffered “a very heavy blow” to the back of his head.

It could be caused by the impact of that part of his skull against a hard object while travelling on a speeding vehicle (say if the head is sticking out of a moving train and hits a pole) or in a fall from a speeding vehicle.

The body as it was found. Why were there were no other marks of injury on the body' Why was the white shirt so clean' Why was the body looking as if it was placed there'

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