The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cash trail to death cause
- Sleuths question Rahmans’ friend about alleged pay-off

A cash trail could lead sleuths to the cause of Rizwanur Rahman’s death on September 21.

On Friday, the CBI kicked off proceedings by interrogating Syed Mohiuddin, alias Pappu, about the alleged pay-off he received from the Todis to help separate Priyanka and Rizwanur.

Hasan, the Palm Avenue-based realtor first approached by the Todis to intervene in the matter, had told the CBI that till September 4, Pappu had refused to play a part but thereafter, a deal may have been struck between him and the Todis. The resident of Broad Street, alleged Hasan, may have accepted money from Anil Saraogi and Umesh Kyal.

Sources said the money trail could provide vital clues about who all had been involved in pressuring the couple and also about Rizwanur’s state of mind after Priyanka left his Tiljala Lane house for her Salt Lake residence. There has been talk of Rizwanur learning of members of his family or people close to the family trying to strike a deal with the Todis.

“I have not taken any money from anybody. People are trying to tarnish my image,” Pappu had told Metro after the money scandal broke.

CBI officials were tight-lipped about Pappu’s questioning. “We did interrogate several persons throughout the day, including Pappu, but it would not be proper to disclose what he told us,” said Satish Golcha, DIG, CBI (special branch).

Sources said Pappu, who runs an NGO, was questioned on the nature of funding of his organisation, the kind of activities undertaken by it and his ties with Rizwanur’s family. “I have always been close to the Rahman family and I have stood by them through thick and thin,” Pappu later said.

Given his proclaimed proximity to the family, sleuths demanded an explanation why Pappu had not accompanied Rizwanur and Priyanka to Lalbazar on September 8, the day they were separated.

Pappu had been instrumental in taking the young couple to meet Gyanwant Singh, the then deputy commissioner (headquarters), the first time, but he was not around on D-Day at Lalbazar.

The alleged money trail also prompted sleuths to question Hameed, the employer of Rukbanur Rahman. Sources said he was asked about Rukbanur’s salary details and spending pattern.

Himadri Sekhar Roy, a social activist from Patipukur who had called up Rizwanur on September 20 offering to help him, was also questioned.

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