Millennium Post

Mamata calls student leader’s death ‘unfortunate’; cops arrest bus driver

After outrage in West Bengal and other parts of the country over the Students Federation of India (SFI) leader’s death, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that the death, like all other deaths, was unfortunate. Banerjee also promised to provide all help to the 22-year-old student’s family.

‘Any death is unfortunate. A human being has died. We have also lost a lot of our workers. I will do everything possible to help the family,’ she said. Banerjee added that she would visit the other students who have been injured during the protest.

However, when asked whether any inquiry will be conducted, she said, ‘This was an accident. Cannot say anything more.’

The incident occurred when hundreds of supporters of the SFI hit the streets on Tuesday to protest against the state higher education department’s decision to stall student union elections at all educational institutions for the next six months.

SFI members claim that Sudipta Gupta, an MA student in the Rabindra Bharati University, died after he was ‘brutally hit by policemen on his head and face’ that led to him falling from the bus in which he was being taken to jail. The police, however, termed it as an accident saying he collided against a lamp post, which caused his death.

‘A group of (SFI) supporters, who were being taken to the jail in a bus, had a verbal altercation with the home guard and a constable inside the bus. The altercation led to jostling at the gate where few students were leaning out and shouting slogans. It was unfortunate that this 22-year-old got hit against a lamp post in the melee,’ said Javed Shamim, Joint Commissioner of Police. Blaming the Mamata government for ‘lawlessness’, left leader Sitaram Yechury said, ‘The SFI student leader has died in police custody, so the state government is solely responsible for it. Judicial inquiry is needed.’

Sudipto slipped into a coma and was shifted to SSKM hospital where the doctors failed to revive him after an hour-long battle. According to reports, many students were injured during the protest.
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