The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Glaring omissions in probe

Upen Biswas, the former additional director of the CBI, lists the steps an investigating agency has to take to determine the cause in an unnatural death case. The Telegraph examines if these steps were followed in Rizwanur Rahman’s case.

Spot visit

After receiving information about a body in an unnatural death case, an officer must visit the spot, take note of all details and prepare an inquest report suggesting the “apparent cause”.

The officer must collect the versions of two or more independent witnesses, record details of injury marks, wounds and bruises and take into account whether the injury was because of a sharp or blunt weapon.

Has this been done' No.

Several eyewitnesses — including one who was interrogated by the CID later — have told The Telegraph that within half an hour of being informed, two doms had come, wrapped the body in a plastic sheet and removed it, blood still dripping. No officer had turned up, the witnesses had said.

The Government Railway Police (GRP) claimed that the body was immediately sent for post-mortem. The post-mortem was carried out the next day and the body buried.

The CID depended on the post-mortem report as the GRP had not carried out an inquest (investigation into the cause of death). The CID did visit the spot. But that was after the case was handed over to it and four days after Rizwanur’s death when all visible traces had been wiped away by trains.

Forensic test

A forensic examination of the train suspected to have hit Rizwanur is essential.

Has this been done' No.

An inexplicable lapse. The elementary test could easily have found human traces if the train did hit him.

Video record

In very sensitive cases, the post-mortem process should ideally be captured on video. In keeping with the standard protocol of investigation, the doctor who carried out the post-mortem should also be interviewed to find out about his observations.

Has this been done' No.

By the time the post-mortem was carried out, Rizwanur’s death had been reported by the media. A clash had also broken out between protesters and the police at Park Circus, making the case an extremely sensitive one. Yet, the post- mortem was not recorded on film.

Besides, the CID has not yet spoken to the doctor. The viscera report is pending.


Interrogation of several persons, including Rizwanur’s family members, the Todis and police officers.

Has this been done' Yes, but not in full.

Top officers have not been questioned yet. Besides, a person who called Rizwanur from a Lake Town PCO has not been identified.

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