WB govt to accept court verdict in Rizwanur case

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Kolkata, Oct 17: The ruling Left Front in West Bengal today urged the state Government to comply with the court order for a CBI investigation into the mysterious death of Rizwanur Rehman and initiate appropriate punitive measures against the police officials, named in meddling with the inter-religious marriage of the young graphic designer.

While the Front, at its meeting, was unanimous that the Government should extend all help to CBI for carrying out the investigation, the smaller partners were unequivocal in getting passed their recommendation for removal of the senior police officers for the sake of an impartial probe.

''The Government will accept the Calcutta High Court order for a CBI probe and it will render all possible help to the central agency. Though the order was passed without any consultation with the state Government, there will be no appeal against it,'' Left Front Committee Chairman Biman Basu told reporters.

Observing that any offence, committed by whosoever in connection with the alleged harassment and threatening of Rizwanur must be taken seriously, the Front recommended to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to ensure that those guilty were punished.

''We have recommended to the Chief Minister the government must not guard those indicted by the court. It must initiate appropriate punitive measures against those named in the media and CID reports, irrespective of their posts,'' the Front Chairman said.

In reply to a question on the allegation against two IPS officers, Mr Basu said punishment must be handed out even to them if found guilty.

Earlier, Forward Bloc state Secretary Ashok Ghosh and RSP leader Kshiti Goswami said they had impressed upon the Front to remove all the police officers, named in the case, to ensure a fair investigation and send a right signal to society.

The Calcutta High Court yesterday ordered a CBI inquiry into the death of Rizwanur Rahman, the investigation of which was described as 'illegal'. 'The bench held that the investigation carried out by the CID was illegal under the CrPC,' Kalyan Banerjee, lawyer of the petitioner said.

Justice Soumitro Pal, who passed the interim ruling after eight days of intensive hearing, held that the central investigating agency has to submit the report within two months.

The Court passed the order on a writ petition filed by Rizwanur's mother Kishwar Jahan and brother Rukbanur.

The opposition in West Bengal hailed the court order.

Leading the chorus that welcomed the Calcutta High Court order, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee yesterday demanded resignation of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

"This order is a victory of the people. The Chief Minister should step down if he has any feeling of shame," she said.

Pradesh Congress Committee Working President Pradip Bhattacharjee said the court order virtually honoured the demand of the people, who had no faith in the administration and police.

Commenting on the development, Rizwanur's mother observed that the court order was a step forward to ensuring justice to the bereaved family while Rukbanur, her elder son, hoped that the CBI would unravel the mystery.

Meanwhile, Water Investigation Minister Nandagopal Bhattacharyay said the police officers, named in the harassment and threatenings to Rizwanur, should be removed from their posts to ensure an impartial investigation.

" Even in the case of a CBI probe, they should not be retained in their present posts. This cannot ensure an impartial investigation.

They should be either removed or they themselves should step aside," he said.

Mr Bhattacharya, a CPI leader and PWD Minister Kshiti Goswami, representing the RSP, among others in the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee- cabinet, had earlier also demanded for removal of the four police officers, including two in the rank of Deputy Commissioner.

Mr Bhattacharjee had said the smaller partners of the ruling coalition would formally record their demand in Left Front meeting.

While the Chief Minister, who was away from the city, could not be contacted for his comments, Left Front Committee Chairman and CPI(M) state Secretary Biman Basu refused to say anything.

However, in a scathing remark, Transport Minister Subhash Chakraborty said the court had no jurisdiction to pass such an order without the state's consent.


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