Cop’s death new twist in Rizwanur case

“My world is falling apart,” Arindam Manna told his mother Malati over the phone at 1.37 am this morning. He did not elaborate,nor did he say where he was....

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Dasnagar (howrah) | Published: February 12, 2009 1:34:19 am

“My world is falling apart,” Arindam Manna told his mother Malati over the phone at 1.37 am this morning. He did not elaborate,nor did he say where he was,but his mother heard a lot of commotion in the background. He hung up abruptly.

Seven hours later,at about 8.30 am,Manna’s body was found on the railway tracks near Mankundu station in Hooghly district about 50 km from Kolkata. He was to be married two months from now.

Manna,30,was a police sub-inspector attached to the Dum Dum Government Railway Police (GRP). He was also the man who first inspected the body of multimedia professional Rizwanur Rehman in September 2007,and prepared the inquest report. Rizwanur was allegedly driven to kill himself under a train at Ulltadanga near Kolkata by the family of Ashok Todi,a prominent city businessman whose daughter Priyanka he had married only some days ago.

The case is currently under CBI investigation. Three members of the Todi family and three Kolkata Police officers who investigators say abetted Rizwanur’s suicide by mounting unbearable pressure on him to end his marriage with Priyanka,are out on bail. The CBI charge sheet is expected to come up before a Kolkata sessions court in the middle of May. Manna would have been a key CBI witness. The Sheoraphuli police have registered a case of murder.

In their FIR,Manna’s parents said the Sub-Inspector was killed as per a plan,and alleged Ashok Todi,Priyanka’s father,and some police officers were involved in the murder. They mentioned the “pressures” on Manna,and accused the local police of trying to hush up the case immediately after the body was discovered. They said the body — which the police had initially declared ‘unidentified’ — had only narrowly escaped being sent for an autopsy without the family getting to know.

West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said,“Prima facie it (Manna’s death) appears to be suicide,but the matter must be investigated. The family has requested for a magisterial inquest to determine the circumstances leading to the death,and we are looking into it.” Sen said Manna’s involvement in the investigation in the Rizwanur case was very minor.

Police sources said Manna had injuries in his right leg,left eye and throat. His father Ashok Manna said Arindam had left home in Dasnagar,Howrah,around 2 pm Tuesday,saying he was going to work. After his conversation with his mother late in the night,the family rushed to the GRP,Dum Dum,where they were told Arindam had taken two days’ leave. Soon after dawn on Wednesday,the family lodged a ‘missing’ report with the police.

“After the body was found,they asked us to go to Sheoraphuli GRP,and then again to Sreerampur hospital. There,they had almost started the post mortem,treating the body as an unidentified one. We stopped it. All this makes me believe that he was murdered in a planned manner,” Ashok Manna said.

Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee said: “I sincerely believed that Rizwanur was murdered. Today the ‘murder’ of the investigating officer of the GRP only proves that my belief was right.”

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