| Brinda Karat at the Rahman residence. Picture by Amit Datta
The day after Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said that “money power” had played a part in the Rizwanur Rahman tragedy, CPM politburo member Brinda Karat went a step further by stating that this was the norm in most cases handled by cops.
On Friday afternoon, after visiting Rizwanur’s Tiljala Lane residence, Brinda said: “I would not like to make any specific comment, as a judicial probe is on. But it has been our experience that police tend to throw their weight behind the rich, the affluent whenever it comes to disputes relating to a relationship.”
To drive home her point, Brinda cited instances from across the country, highlighting Haryana, where the CPM was “fighting for justice” in connection with 13 murder cases over such disputes. “But the government out there didn’t initiate a judicial probe. Here, we want justice and so it should be a time-barred judicial probe.”
Brinda spent half an hour with Rizwanur’s family members, assuring them that justice would be done. Her comments on the role of cops after emerging from the house created quite a flutter in the ranks.
Former city police commissioner Tushar Kanti Talukdar admitted “such behaviour” — siding with the rich and famous — was not unique to this case.
“This has happened before and this will continue to happen,” he observed.
Talukdar said what set this case apart was the manner in which police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee had publicly voiced support for the Todis.
“How can one accept the city’s police commissioner commenting on the socio-economic status of the two families — that of the Rahmans and the Todis — while addressing a media conference' What does this signify' I just have no words to describe it,” he told Metro.
Other retired police officers joined Talukdar in condemning the role of the police in the run-up to Rizwan’s mysterious death. “Given my 35-plus years of service in the police, I know that if two consenting adults get married according to law and there is no complaint of one against the other, the police have no business to intervene. If they do, it is illegal,” stated Nirupam Som, a former director-general of police of Bengal.
Others demanded a probe to find out what had prompted the police to hound Rizwanur and Priyanka and ensure their separation.
“You can’t summon a woman thrice without a case. One tends to believe there was a motive behind this and that has to be probed,” said Upen Biswas, a former CBI joint director. “Where is the post-mortem report' Why has it not been made public' We would like to know the nature of the injury,” he added.