The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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How deals were struck behind Rizwanur’s back
- Who got cash & how much
The Telegraph Investigation


Date: September 13

Time: 11.20am to 12.05pm

Place: The coffee shop of a five-star hotel.

The Todis pay Pappu Rs 5 lakh — for keeping his promise that he would send Priyanka back home.

Date: September 19

Time: 10.40am to 11.10am

Place: The lobby of a five-star hotel

The Todis pay Pappu Rs 6 lakh — for promising to get Rizwanur Rahman to sign divorce papers.

Syed Mohiuddin, better known as Pappu, runs an NGO called PEACE from his home at 39C Broad Street. He was a friend of the Rahman family through Rukbanur, Rizwanur’s elder brother.

From the time Rizwanur and Priyanka got married on August 18 till September 4, Pappu’s role had been that of script-writer and director for the Rahmans.

Pappu would flaunt his Lalbazar and legal contacts and ensure the family did his bidding.

“He was controlling the whole thing; what letters we should write, who we should approach, how we should tackle the situation,” Priyanka has told the CBI.

But from September 4, Pappu switched sides and started playing a dual role.

Ashok Todi in his recorded statement to the CBI has recounted how after meeting Gyanwant Singh (then deputy commissioner of police, headquarters) on September 4, he was resigned to his daughter not returning home, when he got a feeler from Pappu.

“From the night of August 31 at 7B Tiljala Lane, Pappu was the one controlling things. He did not allow Priyanka or Rizwanur to talk to me properly. He was the one in charge. From the manner in which he interacted with the policemen at Lalbazar and exercised complete control over the (Rahman) family, we realised he held the key to my daughter’s return,” Ashok Todi told the CBI.

Pappu told Ashok Todi not to worry, promising he would “personally ensure” that Priyanka returned home. “Rizwanur has done a very bad thing by marrying her and I will make sure she goes back to where she belongs,” said Pappu, handing over his business card (PEACE) to Priyanka’s father.

From then on, Pappu was in constant touch with the Todis. On September 8, he said the roadblocks to Priyanka’s return had been removed. He cited some urgent work to excuse himself from the Lalbazar visit of Rizwanur and Priyanka. That was the first time since August 31 that Pappu was not accompanying the couple to a tryst with the cops.

That day, Priyanka returned home. Pappu had kept his first promise. Pappu fixed up a meeting with the Todis for September 13.

He asked them to carry Rs 5 lakh.The meeting took place in the coffee shop of the hotel at 11.20am. Pappu ordered tea (Darjeeling First Flush).

“I have kept my word; your daughter is back home,” Pappu told the Todis, before offering to take the case forward and ensure that the “wrong done by Rizwanur is undone”.

The meeting ended at 12.05pm with Pappu accepting Rs 5 lakh (in Rs 1,000 notes). “This is for my NGO, PEACE,” he told the Todis.

Pappu’s next meeting with the Todis was set for September 19. They were asked to carry Rs 6 lakh.They met at 10.40am in the lobby of the same hotel. Pappu popped his next proposal to the Todis — “I will get Rizwanur to sign the divorce papers, but you will have to pay another Rs 6 lakh.”

The meeting ended at 11.10am, with Pappu taking Rs 6 lakh. “This money is not for me; it is for some members of Rizwanur’s family,” he claimed.

He said he would deliver the divorce papers, signed by Rizwanur, within two days. That was the last the Todis saw of Pappu.

TODISPEAK (To CBI): “Pappu is the one who approached us and promised to ensure that Priyanka would return home. It was clear that he was calling the shots so we toed his line. When he raised the point of divorce, we felt we had nothing to lose — if the boy agreed to sign the papers, it would prove that he was not really in love with Priyanka; if he was really in love with the girl and not her money, then we were prepared to get them settled within a few months in Mumbai or Delhi.”

PAPPUSPEAK (What he had said on October 25 when rumours of a payoff surfaced): “The Todis are trying to frame me. I have not taken any money from anybody. I was approached by Hasan Ali to meddle in Rizwanur and Priyanka’s marriage but I told him I knew the family well, the two were consenting adults and so we must not interfere in the matter.”


Dates: September 1 to 21.

Places: A small south Indian restaurant on Syed Amir Ali Avenue or in a car while driving around Park Circus.

The Todis pay Rizwanur’s uncle Saidur Rahman Rs 21,000 over several meetings — for keeping them informed about the goings-on in his nephew Rizwanur’s house.


Date: September 20.

Saidur calls the Todis to tell them that Rukbanur and Rizwanur had a showdown on the night of September 19.

The Telegraph is privy to proof of these interactions between Saidur and the Todis.

Saidur was a vital cog in the money deal. He was quicker off the blocks than Pappu while promising information but not intervention.

On September 1, the day after Priyanka had moved into 7B Tiljala Lane, Saidur approached the Todis. “We do not support what the boy (Rizwanur) has done. I will help you with information about your daughter provided you help me,” he said.

From then on, began a steady flow of cash from the Todis to Saidur. The total pay-off between September 1 and September 21 amounted to around Rs 21,000 — Rs 5,000 on Day One, Rs 3,000 on Day Two, Rs 2,000 on Day Three and then equal instalments of Rs 1,000.

Saidur would tell the Todis what was happening in the Rahman home and in return he would be handed a wad of notes.“Pappu ko pakdiye. Wohi khel raha hai. Woh hat jaane se 80 per cent mamla khatam ho jayega (catch hold of Pappu. He is the one playing the game. If you manage him, 80 per cent of the matter will be resolved),” he told the Todis on Day One.

Saidur warned the Todis that Pappu “meetha bolega, par gala katega” and so they must be prepared to shell out “a lot of money”.

Asked about Pappu’s role, Rizwanur’s uncle told the Todis: “He has the chance to be a hero to the Rahman family and squeeze out money from you at the same time. He knows that he does not stand to gain monetarily from this (Rahman) family and so he may not settle for anything less than Rs 5 lakh.” Saidur claimed that Pappu had “great contacts among the police”.

Throughout Priyanka’s stay in 7B Tiljala Lane, Saidur would keep the Todis posted about their daughter. “He told us everything, from the fact that Priyanka and Rizwan would sleep in separate rooms to her cooking aloo bhaaji one day,” the Todis told the CBI.

The exchange of cash for information took place either in the restaurant or in one of the Todi cars that would pick Saidur up.

Saidur kept calling or meeting the Todis till September 21, the day Rizwanur died.

On September 20, he said Rukbanur had turned on Rizwanur the previous night — hours after Pappu had been paid Rs 6 lakh to get the divorce documents signed — over the signing of some papers.

“Rukbanur wanted Rizwanur to sign some papers prepared by Pappu. When Rizwan refused, Rukban lost his temper, shouted at his brother and even hit him,” Saidur told the Todis.

Rizwanur then left the house, Saidur said.

On September 21, Saidur called the Todis and told them that Rizwanur had died in “a major accident”.

TODISPEAK (To CBI): “Initially, when our daughter refused to come back home, we were desperate to know what she was doing and how she was. When the uncle approached us and made his displeasure about the marriage apparent and said he was willing to keep supplying us information as long as we kept him happy, we readily agreed. He was our only constant source of information about Priyanka till she came home on September 8. And after that, he kept telling us what Pappu was up to and what was happening in the Rahman home.”

UNCLESPEAK (What Saidur had said on October 25): “There is no question of any member of our family taking money from the Todis or striking a deal with them. We were all firmly behind Rizwanur. The Todis are playing a dirty game by trying to malign us.”

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