The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sleuths free to call top cop

Police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee may be questioned in connection with Rizwanur Rahman’s death.

“Director-general of police A.B. Vohra told our sleuths yesterday that the senior-most officer of Calcutta police can be called, if necessary, for recording his statement on Rizwanur’s death,” Mukul Sengupta, the inspector-general of police (CID), said on Monday.

“We have come to know that Ashok Todi, Rizwanur’s father-in-law, had met Mukherjee before the computer graphics teacher was found dead on September 21. So, we may need to talk to him,” Sengupta added.

Rizwanur’s death, he said, “could be either suicide or murder. It cannot be an accident”.

The state government on Monday issued the terms of reference for the judicial probe into the death, to be conducted by retired high court judge Aloke Chakraborty.

“The probe, to be completed in three months, will cover the role of the police, individuals and organisations in the death. It will look into incidents both before and after the death,” home secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray said.

He asserted that the deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), Gyanwant Singh, and the deputy commissioner of police (detective department), Ajoy Kumar, will be summoned by the CID in connection with the death.

Sengupta echoed him, but added that the sleuths are yet to come across any evidence of the two senior officers’ involvement in the case.

Rizwanur had complained to the Association of Protection Democratic Rights (APDR) that Singh and Kumar had called him and his wife Priyanka to Lalbazar thrice and threatened them to part ways.

On Saturday, sub-inspector Krishnendu Das and assistant commissioner (anti-rowdy squad) Sukanti Chakraborty told the sleuths that they got involved in the “counselling” on orders from their superiors.

Asked if the duo referred to Singh and Kumar as “superiors”, Sengupta said: “Kumar had forwarded to them a complaint lodged by Todi against Sadique Hussain, a witness to the marriage of Rizwanur and Priyanka. It’s not possible for a senior officer to go through each and every letter.”

In the complaint, Todi had said Sadique had made threat calls to his Salt Lake home.

Sengupta, however, repeated that Singh and Kumar could be summoned any day for recording their statements. “We called Chakraborty and Das because the call list on Sadique’s cellphone revealed that they had called him several times. And Das admitted to having threatened Hussain to state that Rizwanur had married Priyanka against her wishes,” the inspector-general added.

The CID has received a copy of Rizwanur’s letter to the APDR, which he had written two days before his death. “We are going through the letter to figure out the role of the police in the case,” Sengupta said.

According to sources, the sleuths have examined 51 persons, including friends and relatives of Rizwanur and Priyanka.

Mamata charge: Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that the police were threatening those who are standing by Rizwanur’s family.

Addressing a rally on Brabourne Road, she said: “It’s clear that the police got Rizwanur murdered as they did not want their misdeeds to be exposed. Those beside the Rahman family are being threatened with dire consequences.”

Mamata, who visited Rizwanur’s family on Monday, said: “The judicial probe will be handled by someone who has always been close to the CPM.” She demanded that the case be referred to CBI.

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