The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pressure but not lethal: Priyanka
Light shed on secluded life

Calcutta/New Delhi, Oct. 23: A composed Priyanka Todi today told the CBI that there was “tremendous opposition” to her marriage from her family members but she did not believe they could have killed her husband.

Priyanka, Rizwanur Rahman’s widow, did not tell the agency that officers of Calcutta police had misbehaved with her.

“The opposition from my family was definitely there, but that does not mean that they will kill him,” a CBI source quoted her as telling the investigators.

However, Priyanka said she was also convinced that Rizwanur could not have committed suicide as the couple were looking forward to their life together.

According to her, Rizwanur was willing to wait for her parents to come around and eventually bless them.

Priyanka was questioned early this morning to save her from media glare.

“Her family had requested that she be questioned at a place other than her own house or the CBI office. So, she went to her uncle Pravin Todi’s house late last night and the CBI team went there early morning to talk to her,” an officer said.

Admitting her family exerted a lot of pressure on her after her wedding, Priyanka said she had married Rizwanur on her own accord as she was in love with him.

“I loved him then and love him even now,” she told the CBI team led by joint director Arun Kumar. Two women officers were present during the questioning.

Asked why she left Rizwanur’s home, Priyanka said it was because of pressure from her family.

“My family did not like my going out, socialising and meeting people. They did not approve of it then and they do not approve of it now,” Priyanka said. She ruled out any tension between her and Rizwanur over another woman.

Priyanka told the officers that Rizwanur was a “very sentimental type”, adding he would feel restless during the days of courtship if they did not manage to meet for a day or two.

Priyanka told the CBI how they got married and later, in the face of questioning, spelt out where she had spent the days between September 8 and 21. She said she spoke to Rizwanur’s former girlfriend between September 10 and 15.

“Priyanka tried explaining to us how high-strung the 30-year-old youth was. She wanted time from Rizwanur to convince her father to accept the marriage. According to her, she had almost come close to convincing her father but before she could take any step, Rizwanur was dead,” an officer said.

The CBI officials said Priyanka cooperated with them “completely”. Later, the CBI officials spoke to Priyanka’s mother Bimla.

The CBI team took the hard disks from her personal computer and laptop for forensic examination in Hyderabad.

Later in the day, the CBI team went to Rizwanur’s office on Chowringhee Road where experts cracked the password and collected details of mails sent from Rizwanur’s two accounts. Some officers visited a private bank where Rizwanur used to have his salary account.

Kumar took possession of the disks as well as documents and left for New Delhi along with another officer, Seema Kapoor. “I am leaving for New Delhi to oversee the constitution of a medical board that needs to be set up to look into the post-mortem report on Rizwanur,” Kumar said.

He added that the CBI was in no hurry to question Ashok Todi. “That is the last step and we will call him when required.”

The CBI today interviewed two persons, Gajendra Saha and Dukhiram Halder, who had seen Rizwanur’s body at Patipukur. Three officers from the detective department were also quizzed during the day.

Officers from the special branch of Calcutta police spoke to Rizwanur’s brother Rukbanur on the family’s security. The Rahmans were told to inform the special branch before stepping out of the house, saying there was a possibility of an attack on them.

Parallel probe

Political ripples refused to die down with some state cabinet ministers criticising the “parallel probe”. CPI minister Nandagopal Bhattacharya said the Rs 20 lakh being spent on the judicial inquiry was a waste of public money and would only confuse people.

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