Why Rizwanur Rahman’s Death Still Haunts Us

The police called the demise of a Muslim man who dared to marry a Hindu billionaire’s daughter a suicide. The reality is far more sinister.

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Vigil in remembrance of Rizwanur Rahman (Twitter)

Ayesha Le Breton


May 21, 2024


10 min

Down an alley of a predominantly Muslim quarter of Park Circus, Kolkata lingers the tragedy of Rizwanur Rahman. On September 21, 2007, near railway tracks in Patipukur suburb, police found Rahman, 29, dead, with his hands folded over his chest and a deep gash on the back of his head. Officers called the death a “simple case of suicide.” 

But Rahman’s family and friends suspected murder. Rahman, a middle-class Muslim, was mere weeks into married life with Priyanka Todi, the daughter of Ashok Todi of Lux Industries, one of India’s largest underwear manufacturers. What could have been a fairytale turned into a nightmare. Todi’s Hindu family objected to their union. Bribes, threats, the police, and death followed. 

Seventeen years on, Rahman’s family has yet to get justice. Though only Rahman might know what exactly happened in his final hours, what we do know is a tragic tale of love, classism, and religious prejudice.

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