A trial court in Kolkata charged industrialist Ashok Todi with abetment to suicide in the death of his son-in-law Rizwanur Rahman on Thursday. The court, however, absolved the three policemen involved of the same charge. If convicted, the police officers would lose their jobs.
The body of computer graphic designer Rizwanur Rahman, who married Todi's daughter Priyanka against the wishes of the latter's family, was found dead on September 21, 2007 on the railway tracks near Dum Dum railway station. The framing of charges on Thursday is the first step in the trial of the more than two-and-a-half-year-old case. The trial judge has set a May 16 deadline for beginning the trial on evidence.
The ninth fast track court in Kolkata framed charges against Ashok Todi (Rahman's father-in-law), his brother Pradip Todi, cousin Anil Saraogi and associate SM Mohiuddin alias Pappu for abetment to suicide, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy.
Justice Amit Chattopadhyay also framed charges against the three policemen — the then deputy commissioner of police (detective department) Ajay Kumar, assistant commissioner and sub-inspector (anti-rowdy section) Sukanti Chakraborty and Krishnendu Das — for criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy for separating Rahman from his wife at the instance of the Todis.
On October 10, 2007, justice Soumitra Pal of the Calcutta HC had ordered a CBI probe, which was challenged by the Todis and the state government. A two-judge appeal bench in 2010 quashed the CBI chargesheet and directed it to register a murder case against the Todis, who then appealed in the SC.
The apex court then upheld the CBI chargesheet of abetment to suicide (and dropped the murder charge) against the seven accused and directed the trial to commence.
Rahman married Priyanka on August 18, 2007 and the couple started living at the former’s house. Angry on the marriage, the Todis allegedly influenced policemen to separate the couple.
August 18, 2007: Rizwanur Rehman and Priyanka Todi got married
Sept 21, 2007: Rizwanur found dead on railway tracks
Oct 17, 2007: Five police officers including police commissioner transferred
April 21, 2011: A city court orders framing of charges of abetment to suicide against Ashok Todi and three others.