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In a clear snub to the West Bengal government, the Calcutta High Court has ordered a CBI inquiry into the unnatural death of Rizwanur Rehman, who was found dead on the rail tracks near Dum Dum on September 21, following his marriage to Priyanka, daughter of industrialist Ashok Todi.

The state government had ordered an inquiry by the state CID as well as a judicial probe, and had repeatedly refused to pay heed to requests for a CBI inquiry by Rizwanur’s friends and family, as well as Opposition political parties. Since senior state police officers stand criticised for being ‘potentially’ involved in the incident, the state government’s decision had come in for several criticisms from all quarters.

In an interim order, the Calcutta High Court directed the CBI to investigate the mysterious death of Rizwanur and submit a report within two months. Justice Soumitra Pal also observed that the CID could not hold an inquiry into the death of the computer graphics teacher under the given circumstances. State home secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy told newsmen at Writers’ Buildings that both CID and CBI inquiries cannot go on simultaneously. “We are expecting a final report from the CID within a couple of days, after which the state government is ready to submit all necessary papers to the Central investigating agency,” he said.

The verdict has evoked strong reactions from different political quarters. While Left Front chairman Biman Bose remained largely silent on the issue and said their party would wait for a copy of the high court order, before reacting publicly, some of the other CPM leaders like state transport minister Subhash Chakraborty criticised the decision, claiming that the Supreme Court is yet to take a call on another case pending before it, where the dispute on whether a court can actually order a CBI inquiry is likely to be resolved.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, demanded chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s resignation, and said the court’s decision “is a slap” on the face of the state government.

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