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Sudipta Gupta's death: 'What kind of fascism is this?'

Last updated on: April 4, 2013 00:05 IST

'A young life, only 23 years old, was snuffed out'

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Indrani Roy

Bengal is seething with anger over the death of a young Students' Federation of India leader Sudipta Gupta on Tuesday.

Gupta was allegedly beaten up while in police custody. 

He was one of thousands of SFI members who had staged dharna at College Street in central Kolkata on Tuesday afternoon. Police took them in their custody for causing disturbance and made them board buses that were supposed to take them to the South Kolkata's Presidency Jail.

But police supposedly started torturing the protesters as a result of which many were grievously injured.

Gupta was the most unfortunate. His head not only bumped against a roadside lamppost and started bleeding but he also reportedly got beaten up by policemen in that condition.

Veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Md Salim vehemently condemned the incident as he spoke to rediff.com's Indrani Roy on Wednesday evening. This is what he had to say:

"A young life, only 23 years old, was snuffed out, thanks to the 'able' police bandobast of our state.

Sudipta (Gupta) was not supposed to die. He was supposed to be alive, hale and hearty."

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Photographs: Courtesy SFI Facebook page
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'What kind of fascism is this?'

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"He was a born fighter. He fought for his life, even while he was bleeding profusely.

I hold the state administration and police fully responsible for this tragic incident.

Because of the Indian Premier League's inauguration at Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium, the state could not provide enough police force for SFI's announced protest meeting.

After police arrested the protesters, they huddled them into a few buses to ferry them to the Presidency Jail.

Strangely, we heard that mid way, police started forcing the arrested students to get down in an area which is known to be a Trinamool Congress stronghold.

The student leaders told the media that just when they refused to get down, police turned hostile towards them.

In the commotion, Sudipta's head banged against a roadside lamppost and he fell on the ground.

Thereafter, according to several eyewitnesses, he was brutally beaten up by policemen.

What kind of fascism is this?"

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Photographs: Courtesy SFI Facebook page
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'Sudipta's sacrifice can't be forgotten'

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"As we grope for means to console Sudipta's bereaved family, I can't help asking the administration a few questions:

Why couldn't more buses be arranged for the protesters when they were taken into police custody?

Did the state government intentionally make the situation chaotic?

Why did police start beating up the protesters?

Why didn't police take care of an injured Sudipta?

Who gave police the order to beat him up so brutally?

Why were the protesters told to get down from the bus when the usual practice is to take them to the jail and release them only after a magisterial order is passed?

Did the administration have a pre-planned mission to 'create' political violence?

Why did Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee jump the gun by stating that Sudipta's death was an accident?

Why was she evading our demand for a judicial probe?

Whom is she so desperately protecting?

Why did she visit the police headquarters on Wednesday? Was she there to hush up something?

It's a sad state of affairs. Democracy is at stake here in Bengal. When Mamata Banerjee was the Opposition leader, she used to demand President's rule at the drop of a hat.

But we are not like her. We would like to fight our battle the democratic way. And we promise to be relentless. Sudipta's sacrifice can't be forgotten."


Photographs: Courtesy SFI Facebook page
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