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Apr 03, 2013 at 01:59pm IST

West Bengal: Death of SFI activist in police crackdown sparks protests

Kolkata: The death of a 23-year-old Student Federation of India activist, Sudipto Gupta, allegedly injured in a police crackdown in Kolkata, has triggered protests. The death has also yet again raised several questions over violence and law and order issues in Mamata Banerjee's West Bengal.

It was a police crackdown on SFI cadres, just moments before they were taken inside Presidency Jail, after courting arrest. Pranab Gupta, the father of the deceased, said, "He died, what was his fault?"

ALSO SEE Kolkata: SFI activist dies in police crackdown on protest

Sudipto was bundled inside a bus after a mass arrest and taken to jail, but the question remains as to what happened in between. Eyewitnesses have alleged utter brutality by a constable who pushed Sudipto out of the running bus. 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."

In its defence, the police had very little to say. Javed Shamim, Joint Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, said, "There was a scuffle inside the bus as the students shouted slogans. One of the students hit a lamp post and was critically injured."

An FIR has been lodged over the incident. The Left Front has asked for a judicial probe and claimed it will hit the streets in protest.

Law violations aren't new in Kolkata. Workers cutting across party lines use it as an agitation tool, but what spurred the Kolkata police to resort to alleged brutality that cost a 23-year-old his life and another battling death is something that the Left will corner Mamata Banerjee over and also the home minister of the state in the coming days.

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