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West Bengal CM meets dead youth's family, promises justice
October 13, 2007 17:41 IST
Furthering his damage control measures, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Saturday visited the family of Rizwanur Rehman, three weeks after the graphics designer died in mysterious circumstances.
Bhattacharjee was greeted with protestors wielding black flags and chanting slogans like "Chief minister hai hai" and "Please give us justice".
Incidentally, Rizwanur's mother Kishwar Jahan had earlier turned down the chief minister when he had sought a meeting with her. On Saturday, Bhattacharjee spent 40 minutes with her and other members of Rizwanur's family.
He requested the family members to have faith in the CID, which is investigating the case, and the ongoing judicial probe. "The chief minister assured us that after the inquiry, action will be taken against everybody found guilty including the police officers," said Rukbanur, the victim's brother.
"He promised us justice," said an ailing Kishwar Jahan. Asked whether she had confidence in Bhattacharjee, Kishwar replied, "We have some faith."
Rukbanur, who talked to mediapersons after Bhattacharjee left, maintained that they were still demanding an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into his brother's death.
The computer graphics teacher was found dead near the railway tracks on September 21 following his marriage to Priyanka, daughter of influential businessman Ashok Todi, on August 18. The police initially claimed that it was a case of suicide, but the ensuing public outrage forced the state government to order a judicial probe about the involvement of senior police officials in Rizwanur's death.
Several posters were seen outside Rizwanur's residence saying "CM Why Are You Fighting With Us on CBI Enquiry In High Court" and "Why has nobody been arrested yet?"
Rukbanur said Bhattacharjee expressed regret for "whatever has been done to Rizwanur" and requested the family to give him some time to secure justice. He added, "The chief minister told us he has now understood the entire chain of events. He promised us that he will personally look into the matter."
Rizwanur's brother, however, felt that an impartial probe was impossible without removing the police officers, who had allegedly threatened the computer graphics teacher to part with Priyanka. "I told the chief minister about this. He assured me there will be no police intervention in the CID and judicial probe. He also asked us to contact him directly if there was any police pressure on us," he said.
Rukbanur said "We will give him time. I told him so. But the guilty, including the police officers, should be punished.
"After Durga puja, we will again place our demand before the public. And if we still don't get justice, then we'll hit the streets," he said. Rukbanur also expressed fear that Riawanur's post mortem report could be 'fudged' and said in that case a second one would be needed. "The chief minister said that if the court orders, then the body will be exhumed and a fresh post mortem done," he added.
Asked whether he had confidence in Bhattacharjee, Rukbanur said "Yes, because he said that he has understood the entire episode."
Rukbanur also claimed that the chief minister told them that he understood Todi's role and would personally see to it that action was taken against him.
Bhattacharjee told the family that the women's commission had visited the victim's wife Priyanka. "He said the commission will go again if the need arises," said Rukbanur. However, he said that the family's legal battle in the High Court, demanding a CBI probe, will continue.
The chief minister, who also holds the Home (Police) portfolio, left without talking to the media, which was present in full strength.
"He (Bhattacharjee) has come for a settlement. Why doesn't he arrest Todi and the police officers?" asked Mohammed Shahid, a local resident.
"He has come so many days after Rizwanur's death. What was he doing for so long?" said another resident Sultan Khan.