The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A ritual of mourning

The hands that had prepared delicacies for Rizwanur Rahman on Sunday fed maulvis who had assembled at his Tiljala Lane house to pray for his soul. The occasion was Chaliswan, a mourning ritual to mark the 40th day of a person’s death (the Rahmans observed it three days in advance).

“I had never thought that a day like this would come in my life. I cannot forget Kakku (Rizwanur’s pet name) and this is my plight,” said 55-year-old Kishwar Jahan, tears rolling down her cheeks.

“I thought my bahu (Priyanka) would come but she didn’t. She should have been present at the ritual to pray for her husband’s soul,” said the mother.

She was not crying alone. People from across the state came to meet the Rahmans at their house and express solidarity with the family in its hour of crisis.

Arindam Adhikary, a trader, came from Burdwan with his wife and two children to meet Rizwanur’s mother. The family brought incense sticks and flowers to lay on the grave of Rizwanur.

“We have been following the developments of the case through newspapers. It’s tragic the way Rizwanur was murdered. My wife and children had been asking me for the past two weeks to take them to meet Kishwar Jahan. She has become a symbol of courage,” said Adhikary, after meeting Rizwanur’s mother and his brother Rukbanur.

Mousami Das, a schoolteacher, came to 7B Tiljala Lane from Siliguri to stand by the bereaved family. “We now know what happens in Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s oasis of peace. I can barely contain my tears when I see Rizwanur’s mother on television. I came to Calcutta only to meet the Rahmans and will return to Siliguri tomorrow. Everyone in the town has been following the case. We want justice for Rizwanur,” she said.

A large number of people from Calcutta also visited Tiljala Lane and gave flowers to the family members to lay on Rizwanur’s grave. In the afternoon, the Rahmans, accompanied by their relatives and neighbours, visited the burial ground in Gobra where Rizwanur had been laid to rest.

In the evening, the female members recited the Quran and offered namaz. Holding a photograph of Rizwanur, Rukbanur’s two-year-old daughter Zara asked: “Dadima, chacha aaj aayenge'” (Grandmother, will uncle come today') Kishwar Jahan, clad in a printed white sari gifted by Rizwanur before Id last year, held the child and cried inconsolably.

Cops summoned: The CBI has summoned the officer-in-charge of Karaya police station, Swapan Kumar Mitra, and two sub-inspectors, Pulak Dutta and Jayanta Mukherjee, for questioning on Monday. The agency has also called Rukbanur to record his statement again.

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