In a controversial incident, a leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist) student wing who was arrested after a clash with ruling Trinamool Congress activists was chained to his bed at a state-run hospital in judicial custody.
The first-year student, Santosh Sahani, a member of the Students Federation of India, was arrested on April 10 after a clash between Trinamool Congress and Left supporters in Siliguri.
The chain was later removed following an uproar with activists alleging violation of human rights, sources said.
Claiming that he was unaware of the student being chained to the hospital bed, North Bengal Development Minister Goutam Deb said, “I called up the superintendent of hospital and jail authorities to remove the chain when human rights activists brought the matter to my notice.”
Sahani fell ill while in judicial custody on Tuesday and was admitted to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital near Siliguri.
Earlier, Commissioner of Police Anant Kumar told PTI:
“He had been in judicial custody and it is for the jail authorities to answer. The police have nothing to do to it.”
CPI(M) leader Asok Bhattacharya went to visit Sahani during the day and found him chained to the bed.
Live footage of the SFI student leader lying chained to the bed was shown on television.
“The West Bengal government is claiming that it is a government with a human face. But the condition of human rights in West Bengal is worse than in the days of Emergency,” Left Front chairman Biman Bose said.
“The incident is condemnable. It should not have happened,” WBPCC president Pradip Bhattacharya said.
Human rights activist Sujato Bhadro said it was a gross violation of human rights.
“You can never do such things with an accused. He is yet to be proved guilty. Even if he is proven guilty you can’t chain him when he is under treatment. This is a gross violation of human rights,” he said. — PTI