Arindam Manna, a sub-inspector of the Government Railway Police (GRP), was found dead on the railway tracks at Mankundu in Hooghly district, more than 50 km from his residence in Dasnagar, near Kolkata, in a manner eerily reminiscent of graphic designer Rizwanur Rahman’s death, which had caused a countrywide uproar in 2007.
Manna, in fact, had first investigated Rahman’s death on September 21, 2007 and later became a key witness. Dilip Mitra, additional director general, Railway Police, said: “Prima facie, it is a case of suicide.” But Manna’s father told HT: “My son was murdered.”
The death of Rahman, whose body was spotted under similar circumstances on the railway tracks near Dum Dum, 30 km from his residence, caused a nationwide uproar.
Serious allegations were levelled against top IPS officers, including the then Kolkata police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, for meddling in Rahman’s marriage to Priyanka, daughter of Ashok Todi, a wealthy businessman.
Todi, his brother and a cousin were arrested – though they have now been released on bail – and cases against three senior police officers are pending. CBI investigations revealed that it was a case of suicide.
The similarities with Rahman’s death have created a buzz about possible foul play. Manna’s family said he had called his mother on Tuesday night to say goodbye – as, coincidentally, Rahman had also done just before his death – thus, strengthening the suicide angle, but several questions remain unanswered.
n Why, for instance, did he travel 50 km to commit suicide when there is a railway track quite close to his house?
n He called his residence saying he apprehended a CBI raid. What made him think so?
n Then, his family says he told his father to “burn all the documents”. Which documents was he referring to? His father claims he doesn’t know.
n He also told his family that he had been cornered at his workplace and that “someone there is conspiring against me”. Who could these people be and what was the ‘conspiracy’?
Ardhendu Sen, state home secretary, said a case of unnatural death has been registered. His family has demanded a magisterial inquiry into his death, which the state government is considering.
Officers at the GRP office at Dum Dum, where Manna worked, were shocked at the news of his death. “He was jovial, well mannered and a promising. We can’t believe that he is dead,” said Shashanka Sekhar Chakravorty, deputy superintendent of police and Manna’s boss.