Rail guards, drivers questioned over West Bengal cop’s death

February 18th, 2009 - 8:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) West Bengal’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), probing the death of a police official who initially investigated the mysterious death of Rizwanur Rehman, Wednesday interrogated guards and drivers of three trains to ascertain if anyone had seen him committing suicide, officials said.
The body of Arindam Manna, posted with the Government Railway Police (GRP) at Dum Dum, was found Feb 11 near the Mankundu railway station with injury marks on his legs, hands and eyes.

“We interrogated three guards and three drivers of two mail trains and a local train Wednesday at the CID headquarters Bhavani Bhavan (in south Kolkata) to check if they saw Manna or anyone jumping in front of a train or being knocked down by a train Feb 11 night,” said state Additional Director General of CID Bhupinder Singh.

Singh refused to detail the findings of the interrogation.

But according to CID sources, the guards and drivers said no one had jumped in front of a train or was overrun by a train while they passed the spot.

“Generally, if anyone is overrun by a train, the guard or driver of the next train informs the GRP or concerned authority about the accident. But no such reports were lodged Feb 11 night,” a CID officer said on condition of anonymity.

Additional Director General of police (Rail) Dilip Mitra, meanwhile, issued a circular saying there will be no plainclothes policemen in the railways now onwards. Every officer has to wear a uniform while on duty.

“This circular has nothing to do with the Manna case,” Mitra stressed.

But railway police sources said the decision was taken after Manna’s death.

“Manna started off his career as a plainclothes policeman. He later became part of the uniformed team. But after his death, there were internal allegations that Manna was pressurised for something by plainclothes officers. And this decision was taken to safeguard GRP,” a GRP officer said on condition of anonymity.

Rizwanur Rehman, a 30-year-old graphic designer working with a multimedia firm, was found dead Sep 21, 2007, near the railway tracks at Patipukur suburb here, barely a month after his marriage with Priyanka, daughter of Kolkata industrialist Ashok Todi who was firmly opposed to the match.

As a Hindu-Muslim love story gone wrong, Rizwanur’s death shocked the entire nation.

Todi, his brother Pradeep, brother-in-law Anil Saraogi and four city police officers were accused of threatening and pressurising Rizwanur to annul his marriage with Priyanka and stay away from her. They all were arrested but are now out on bail.

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