Judicial inquiry into Rizwanur's death called off

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Kolkata, Oct 26 (UNI) In a climbdown from his stand following growing demands, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today called off the judicial inquiry into the death of Rizwanur Rehman.

" Judging the recent developments and the situation and the fact that Rizwanur's family does not want it, we withdraw the Commission of Inquiry, set up by the state Government, " he announced at the state Secretariat.

This was the second time over the past ten days that the Chief Minister had to retract from his earlier decisions, earlier accepting a court verdict in favour of a CBI probe and winding up the CID inquiry he had ordered.

Mr Bhattacharjee, however, asserted that the one-member commission of inquiry, headed by the retired justice of Calcutta High Court Aloke Chakrabory, would function concurrently with the CBI probe.

" We do not want any overlapping in the CBI investigation, " he said today.

The Government had taken the decision after taking into account various administrative, political and legal factors involved in the issue, Mr Bhattacharjee said.

The Chief Minister's announcement came hours after the CPI(M) state Secretariat gave a nod for the retreat.

Yesterday Rizwanur's mother and brother filed a writ petition with Calcutta High Court, challenging the propriety of the judicial inquiry, which was instituted on September 27, when a CBI probe was already on.

The High Court had already put the state Government on the backfoot with its order for a CBI investigation on October 16 on the basis of a petition of Rizwanur's kins, while a demand was gaining ground even from within the ruling Left Front for withdrawing the judicial probe.

Mr Bhattacharjee's Cabinet colleagues Kshiti Goswami and Nandagopal Bhattacharjee, belonging respectively to the RSP and CPI had come out openly with the demand calling for giving CBI the absolute handle over the case for an impartial probe.

Observing that no signal should reach the people that the Government was trying to obstruct the CBI investigation, the CPI (M) state Secretariat, which met during the day, also concluded that the judicial probe be stopped.

The body of Rizwanur, who had married Priyanka against the wishes of his father-in-law and businessman Ashok Todi, was found beside the railway tracks on September 21 triggering allegations of a foul play.

Meanwhile, CBI officials interrogated Rizwanur's borther Rukhbanur Rehman and his wife at its Nizam palace office to extract information on the alleged pay-off the Todis had made to the family seeking to break the marital relation of the spouses.

CBI had already checked the bank accounts of one of the uncles of Rizwanur.


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