Thursday, February 28, 2008

CBI's report on Rizwanur Rehman says suicide

The case of Rizwanur Rehman, a middle class computer graphics teacher who married Priyanka Todi (daughter of a rich industrialist) and whose body was found soon after lying on the railway tracks was a major setback for the West Bengal Government. Initially the police and Government stonewalled, and it was only when there was a massive public outcry and a sustained campaign by the media that things started to happen. It were the reports about a relentless pressure on the young man by the family of his wife, coupled with pressure from senior police officers (who should have sided with the young couple who had broken no law, and instead, no doubt swayed by the money power and pull of the rich industrialist put pressure on Rizwanur) that caused the Government to eventually try to extricate itself from this mess by removing the Police Commissioner and handing the case over to the CBI (prodded by the Calcutta High Court).
And the CBI report is pretty clear - after some detailed investigation of all the people involved, and numerous interviews, the CBI has declared that it was a suicide, but caused due to heavy pressure.

KOLKATA: The much-awaited CBI report on the mysterious death of computer graphics teacher Rizwanur Rehman on Thursday said that he had committed suicide. The report also recommended action against senior police officers, including the then Kolkata police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee in that connection.
The report recommended departmental action against the former police commissioner, who is at present the ADG (Telecom) with the West Bengal police, while asking for major disciplinary action against the then DCP (headquarter) Gyanwant Singh and some officers of Karaya police station. The CBI also sought permission to file chargesheet against the then Deputy Commissioner (Detective Department) Ajoy Kumar and two officers of his department along with Priyanka's father Ashok Todi, uncle Pradip and maternal uncle Anil Saraogi and Mohiuddin alias Pappu for abetment to suicide, criminal intimidation and conspiracy.

This whole affair is an affair that would shock all those who believe in the rule of law. This is a young couple, struck by that most basic of human relations, love; they get married, and then the family of the bride declares that this is not a relationship that can be accepted. All this so far is something that can happen.
What happens next is the reprehensible part. Senior police officers are approached by the rich family, and they start putting pressure on the young man, while the girl is forcibly retained in the family home. Instead of restoring the marriage as per what their duty dictates, these officers put pressure on Rizwanur and eventually drove him to the step of suicide. They deserve the harshest of punishment, because when the instruments of law go bad like this, the maintenance of rule of law becomes distorted, and such bad elements deserve all the punishment that they get.
What is also a problem is when the West Bengal Chief Minister refused to initially acknowledge that there was a problem and thought that this was a routine matter, and would have got the police to investigate the matter. The police whose senior officers are involved ! And we don't have the independent investigating arms inside the police; but it is hard to go to the CBI for every such issue.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 11:11 PM