On the occasion of Eid, West Bengal witnessed politics of compassion with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee meeting Kiswar Jahan, the mother of late graphic designer Rizwanur Rahman, who died mysteriously on September 21, 2007.
On the other hand, CPI(M) politburo member and the party’s state secretary Md Salim met Salem Khan, the father of Anis Khan, the student leader who also died mysteriously on February 19, 2022.
There were too many similarities between the two deaths, except one. When Rizwanur died, the Left Front government led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was in power while Mamata Banerjee was the face of the opposition.
And Anis Khan died when Mamata Banerjee is the Chief Minister of West Bengal, while the Left Front does not have a single representative in the state Assembly.
Apart from this, the similarities are quite a few.
After Rizwanur’s death, the alleged role of three top officers of Kolkata Police — then Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, then Deputy Commissioner (headquarters) Gyanwant Singh, and then Deputy Commissioner (detective department) Ajay Kumar — came under scanner. It was alleged that they played a role in separating Rizwanur from his wife Priyanka Todi, daughter of industrialist Ashoke Todi.
All the three officers were removed from their chairs and shunted to insignificant posts.
In the case of Anis Khan, his family members have been alleging from the beginning that Khan was killed by policemen in uniform. A civic volunteer and a home guard have already been arrested in connection with the case. However, Khan’s family members have described the arrests as eye-wash.
After Rizwanur’s murder, the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee-led government ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state police to probe the matter.
However, Rizwanur’s family members and Mamata Banerjee at that time demanded a CBI investigation into the matter. The CBI later probed the matter and declared the cause of death as suicide.
And now after Anis Khan’s death, the state government has formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the incident. Interestingly, this SIT is headed by Gyanwant Singh.
Khan’s father Salem Khan has been maintaining since the beginning that he only wants the CBI to probe the death of his son.
He said if needed, he would go to the Supreme Court in support of his demand.