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Judicial probe into Rizwanur's death withdrawn

Bowing to public opinion, the West Bengal Govt withdraws the judicial inquiry into the mysterious death of Muslim youth Rizwanur Rahman.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
UPDATED ON OCT 26, 2007 07:23 PM IST

Bowing to public opinion, the West Bengal government on Friday withdrew the judicial inquiry into the mysterious death of Muslim youth Rizwanur Rahman, arguing that it would only overlap with the ongoing Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.

"After considering all aspects, I am withdrawing the judicial probe that was ordered earlier. We went by the mood of the people, the media opinion and above all wishes of the family of Rizwanur Rahman which only wants a CBI probe," Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya told reporters at the state secretariat in Kolkata.

Bhattacharya had ordered a judicial inquiry along with a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigation by the state police, which was termed illegal by the Calcutta High Court. Instead, a CBI probe was ordered.

"When the CBI has started investigation there is no point in continuing the judicial probe which had also started formally. We are withdrawing the government notification for the judicial probe," Bhattacharya said.

Rizwanur's brother Rukbanur and his mother Kishwar Jahan had filed a petition before the Calcutta High Court on Thursday, seeking to set aside the judicial commission appointed by the government on Oct 1.

The petition claimed the judicial commission had no legal validity as a state appointed commission had no authority to interrogate IPS officers.

The petition also stated the judicial commission has no right to conduct the probe since the high court has already asked the CBI to investigate the matter.

Bhattacharya, however, refused to comment on the ongoing CBI probe.

"I will not comment on anything at this juncture. I have to wait and see what they (CBI) are doing," he said.

The Telegraph Friday published a letter to the police supposedly written by Priyanka Todi with her late husband Rizwanur Rahman on Sep 3, 18 days before his body was found by a railway track, saying that they feared foul play by her father Ashok Todi.

Rizwanur, a 30-year-old computer graphics designer, was found dead beside a railway track here with his head smashed on Sep 21, barely a month after marrying Priyanka, daughter of industrialist Ashok Todi.

His gruesome death had sparked widespread protests for justice with common people, students and intellectuals taking to the streets and campaigning for punishment of cops who allegedly intimidated Rizwanur to opt out of the marriage.

The state government removed five police officials- Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, deputy commissioner (headquarters) Gyanwant Singh, deputy commissioner (detective department) Ajoy Kumar, assistant commissioner of Anti-Rowdy Squad (ARS) Sukanti Chakraborty and sub-inspector Krishnendu Das of the same department - on Oct 17, 26 days after Rizwanur was found dead.

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