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Student death: Mamata visits hospital, faces CPM rage

April 03, 2013 14:50 IST

Under pressure from the opposition after the death of a leader of the Student’s Federation of India, 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 into the incident.

"Any death is unfortunate. This is also unfortunate. I will not say anything more than this," Banerjee told reporters outside the state-run SSKM hospital, where SFI leader Sudipta Gupta's body was kept.

She said this in response to a media query on whether the state government would order a judicial inquiry into the death, as demanded by opposition Communist Party of India - Marxist, the parent organisation of the SFI.

Banerjee said the SFI leader was killed after he collided against a post when he fell off a bus, after he was arrested by the police during a protest, on Tuesday evening.

The CM claimed many of her own party workers had died in a similar manner.

The chief minister said she had 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.

Sudipta Gupta's father Pronob Kumar Gupta, however, refused to accept any help from the state government.

"My son was beaten to death. Is this 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 asked.

Asked about Banerjee's statement -- that Sudipta died after he hit a post -- Pronob Kumar reiterated that his son was beaten to death and he would fight for justice.

Sudipta's death has triggered a row, with the police claiming it as an accident, while CPI-M has alleged that the student leader 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, was being taken away after his arrest by the police, was arrested on Wednesday.

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