Kolkata: There have been massive protests over the death of 23-year-old Students Federation of India activist Sudipto Gupta in Kolkata. Not just in Kolkata, protests are also being staged in Chennai by SFI activists, following which 20 protesters were arrested. The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal has also come under attack from the protesters as well as the Left Front.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, "There is widespread anger across the country over the SFI student leader's death. The Chief Minister is answerable. There should be a judicial probe."
This even as Mamata met other students injured in Tuesday's police crackdown and assured help to Gupta's family. "I have always asked people to be careful. To which party a person belongs to, is not important. I have my sympathy with everybody. If the family needs any help, they can come to me," Mamata said. Mamata Banerjee also met the police top brass over the investigations into the case.
Meanwhile, a bus driver has been arrested for the death of the 23-year-old. The driver was driving the bus that was used to take SFI activists to prison. It was enroute that Sudipto died. The question is whether the arrest of the bus driver is a cover-up. The post-mortem report of Gupta is awaited.
Eyewitnesses say the police bundled protesters on to a bus following a mass arrest and then Sudipto was pushed out of the bus and badly beaten up. SFI General Secretary Satarup Ghosh, who is an eyewitness, said, "He was hit on his head so hard that one of his eyes came out."
"We were courting arrest when the policemen started beating us in the bus. One of the policemen hit Sudipto's head with a lathi and he fell down. When we demanded immediate medical help for him, the police refused," Ghosh said.
The police on the other hand have said that Sudipto fell off the bus. "There was a scuffle inside the bus as the students shouted slogans. One of the students hit a lamp post and was critically injured," Javed Shamim, Joint Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, said.
Sudipto's body was sent for a post-mortem. After the post-mortem on Wednesday, his body will be taken to his residence, then to his college and finally to a crematorium.
His family, meanwhile, has also demanded action. "I want them to be punished. How could they torture a 23-year-old boy like this," his father Pranab Gupta said.
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