Bhattacharjee meets Rizwanur's mother

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Kolkata, Oct 13: Amid agitation by the local people, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today visited the house of Rizwanur Rehman, the young graphic designer who died a mysterious death following his inter-religious marriage, and assured his mother of justice.

He spent 40-minutes in the shanty in the city's minority-dominated Tiljala area, listening to the grievances of Kishwar Jahan, the bereaved mother, and other members of Rizwanur's family and promised an impartial investigation into the incident that triggered an outcry in the society.

''The chief minister has assured us that he is personally looking into the case. We raised the demand for a CBI probe, but he said there would be no interference in the judicial probe which is going on. He also promised that all the erring police officials will be punished,'' Rukbanur Rehman, Rizwanur's elder brother told reporters.

The chief minister's visit to the house came 21 days after Rizwanur's body was found beside the railway tracks in North Kolkata, stoking the suspicion of a foul play. His marriage to Priyanka created a bad blood with his father-in-law and industrialist Ashok Todi and also drew into controversy a section of police officers, who allegedly threatened and harassed him.

With a demand mounting for justice and action against the erring police officials, the state government had already ordered a judicial inquiry by a retired High Court judge and a CID probe to run separately.

Today the chief minister also reportedly told Rizwanur's family that if necessary, the body would be exhumed to conduct another post-mortem.

''I have full faith in the chief minister and his intentions,'' Rukbanur said.

However, protesting against the alleged role of the police and 'delay' in justice, a huge number of people gathered near Rizwanur's house and raised slogans when Mr Bhattacherjee was entering the house. A number of black flags hung over the road and there were plenty of posters put up on walls that criticised the state government for opposing the demand for a CBI probe in the High Court.

Mr Bhattacharjee was accompanied by Minority Affairs Minister Abdus Sattar, Mohammad Selim, MP and Mr Rabin Deb, a CPI(M) leader.

Even as a large number of policemen threw a cordon around Rizwanur's house, the swelling crowd got restive when the chief minister came out and ran after his convoy jeering the police and demanding justice.

Yesterday, the chief minister said in the state Secretariat that he had given a date to Rizwanur's mother to speak to him at his residence. But later he came to know that she was no more willing to talk to him. He said he was still eager to listen to Mrs.Jahan if she changed her mind.

While Rizwanur's mother denied having been told about any such meeting, her elder daughter categorically said that the chief minister was welcome to visit their house rather than asking her mother to meet him.

On Oct 11 Mr Bhattacharjee virtually set aside the demand for a CBI probe into Rizwanur's mysterious death, but had assured that action would be taken against whoever was found guilty.

The chief minister, who had met a delegation of Muslim leaders at the state Secretariat, also reportedly did not comply with the demand for removal of the police officers, including city Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, for the alleged pressure on Rizwanur to part with his wife.


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