Demands investigation by CBI into his death
Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the death of Sudipta Gupta, a leader of Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and Sudipta’s family members met Governor M.K. Narayanan here on Friday.
Pranab Gupta, father of the student-leader, his sister Sumita Sengupta and other family members were accompanied by the Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, Surya Kanta Mishra.
“The Governor listened to all our demands,” Mr. Gupta told journalists.
Ms. Sengupta said the family members were forced to meet the Governor bypassing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as they did not get any assurance from her regarding their demand for a thorough probe into the death.
Citing reports that the driver of the vehicle in which the SFI leader and other students were taken to a correctional home had said he was not driving the vehicle at a high speed, Ms. Sengupta said the driver had confessed that her brother was beaten to death. The police have charged the driver with reckless driving.
“The family has demanded a CBI inquiry. They are not confident of an inquiry by the police as the death had occurred in police custody,” Dr. Mishra said, adding that his visit had nothing to do with “politics” and he had accompanied them only because he had arranged for the meeting with the Governor.
“They have come to the highest constitutional office in the State to seek justice,” he added.
The Governor has said no conclusion should be arrived before the inquiry is completed. This has been said despite Ms. Banerjee maintaining over the past two days that the death was an “accident”.
The death of the student-leader in custody after being arrested for participating in a law violation programme has sparked off public outrage. While the Left Front has demanded a judicial probe into the incident, the family members have remained firm on their demand of a thorough probe by an independent agency. The latter have also refused to accept any monetary compensation from the State government.
“We want justice, not aid”
The family members took strong exception to the Chief Minister's dismissal of Sudipta's death in police custody as a “petty matter.” “She has no idea what comments to make in such situations,” they said.
“Would she make a similar comment had he [Mr. Gupta] been a Trinamool Congress worker?” Sumita Sengupta, sister of the SFI leader, asked.
Demanding justice for her brother, Ms. Sengupta said there was “no party politics involved in the matter” and the Chief Minister should ensure that those responsible for his death be punished.
Referring to Ms. Banerjee’s assurance of all help to the family, she asked, “What assistance will she [Ms. Banerjee] offer?” Ruling out accepting any financial assistance, Ms. Sengupta said Sudipta was not the breadwinner. “All the family wants is justice.”