Kolkata: Under pressure from opposition after the death of a Students Federation of India activist, Sudipto Gupta, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday termed the episode as "unfortunate", but evaded a question on whether a judicial probe would be ordered as demanded by the CPI-M. "Any death is unfortunate. This is also unfortunate. I will not say anything more than this," Mamata told reporters outside the state-run SSKM hospital where SFI leader Sudipto Gupta's body was kept.
She said this in response to a media query that whether the state government would order a judicial inquiry into the death as demanded by opposition CPI-M. Mamata said the SFI leader was killed after he collided against a post, and claimed many of her own party workers had died in this way.
The chief minister said she visited the hospital to express her sympathy and assured all help to the bereaved family. SFI activists present at the hospital raised slogans against her during the visit.
Sudipto Gupta's father Pranab Gupta, however, refused to accept any help from the state government. "My son was beaten to death. Is it justice? I was a central government employee. I get pension. I cannot accept any money. It is against my principle. She is offering me money, but can she return my son?" he said.
Asked about Mamata's statement that Sudipto died after he hit a post, Pranab Kumar reiterated that his son was beaten to death and he would fight for justice. Sudipto's death has triggered a row with the police claiming it as an accident while CPI-M alleges that he succumbed to injuries sustained in police lathicharge.
In a separate development, the driver of the bus in which the SFI leader along with other supporters were being taken away after arrest by the police was arrested on Wednesday.