One year on, Rizwanur’s family longs for justice

September 20th, 2008 - 3:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 20 (IANS) One year after her son’s death, Keshwar Jahan - the bereaved mother of Muslim youth Rizwanur Rahman - still awaits justice. She celebrated the holy Ramzan month in memory of her son who was found dead last year after marrying industrialist Ashok Todi’s daughter Priyanka.”We were punished enough by god and now what more could be the punishment left for us. We can never fill up that unforgettable loss. It can only give us some relief if the perpetrators and the men behind the conspiracy get punished by law for murdering Rizwanur,” Jahan told IANS in a choking voice at her dingy eastern Kolkata shanty.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has concluded that Rizwanur was driven to commit suicide.

“I can very well remember the date last year (Sep 20) when I talked to my son, just the day before he was found dead by a railway track with his head smashed in. He was very disturbed that time and trying to fight for justice. He was keen to take Priyanka back home,” she recalled.

Rizwanur, a 30-year-old graphic designer working with a multimedia firm, was found dead Sep 21 last year by the railway tracks at Patipukur near Dum Dum, barely a month after marrying Hindu girl Priyanka Todi.

The death unleashed an unprecedented outcry for justice in civil society, with many accusing the ruling Left Front government in West Bengal for “shielding” the tainted policemen behind the case.

Several police officers, including the city police top cop, were later removed from their posts for their alleged role in Rizwanur’s death and bringing pressure on the youth to opt out of the marriage at the behest of Lux Cozi group chief Todi, the father of the bride.

“Today, I am eagerly waiting for the final judgement to come,” Jahan added, while doing household chores in her small kitchen.

An easy calm prevailed in the Lohapole area of Tiljala lane as the residents and well-wishers of Rizwanur’s family got together to remember their hero who did not buckle down till his mysterious death silenced him.

An altar was made in the name of Rizwanur at Tiljala area for waging a silent protest against the conventional economic and religious barriers of society. People also hung festoons with Rizwanur’s photographs splashed across the locality that read “His crime, he loved someone”.

“Rizwanur has become an icon for hundreds of thousands of youths in the country who think love and humanity are much greater than religion and economic disparity,” Rizwanur’s elder brother Rukbanur Rahman told IANS.

He said: “A few days back when I went to garland Rizwanur’s tomb during Ramadan, I saw some flowers lying on it. I asked people at the graveyard about the flower. They told me many unknown people often came and garlanded Rizwanur’s grave. They pray for his soul and leave the place silently.”

“I don’t know who these people are and where they come from. But like my brother, they also believe in love and humanity,” Rukbanur said. “It shows civil society is still alive and our emotions have not perished in this concrete jungle.”

Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court division bench of Chief Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice Maharaja Sinha Friday rejected a plea by the seven accused of abetting his suicide to restrain the CBI from filing charges.

The appeal against Justice Dipankar Dutta’s order asking the CBI to prosecute them will be heard after the Puja recess, which ends Nov 2.

Of those facing trial, three are Kolkata police officers - the then deputy commissioner of city police (detective department) Ajoy Kumar, assistant commissioner Sukanti Chakraborty and sub-inspector Krishnendu Das.

The others include Ashok Todi, his brother Pradip Todi, his relative Anil Saraogi, and Pappu, a family friend of the Rahmans.

The CBI had also informed the high court that charges under IPC sections 306 (abetment to suicide), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 503 (criminal intimidation) could be brought against the accused.

If convicted for abetment to suicide, they could face a jail term of 10 years and a fine.

“We are definitely very happy with the high court’s ruling as it has come in our favour. We are heading towards justice. Our demand is full punishment to all the conspirators who were involved in the dirty game,” said Akilur Rahman, Rizwanur’s uncle.

“It’s good that now CBI can go ahead with their process of investigation and gather whatever information they require to take the case to its logical conclusion,” he said. “We have full faith in the judiciary.”

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