A day after a student leader of the Students Federation of India (SFI) died in police custody, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seemed to imply it was an accident. She said many of her own party workers had died in the past in impact with lampposts while travelling in trains.  

Ms. Banerjee, who on Wednesday arrived at the state-run SSKM Hospital, where the body of Sudipta Gupta was kept, left in a huff shortly after in the face of protests by slogan-shouting SFI members gathered there.  

“It does not matter which political party an activist belongs to, my sympathy is for everyone… I have come here to offer my condolences,” she said.

Asked to comment on the CPI(M)’s demand for a judicial inquiry, she avoided a direct response, saying: “Any death is unfortunate. This is also unfortunate. I will not say anything more than this.”  

Post-mortem report

The post-mortem report revealed that Sudipta Gupta had suffered injuries in different parts of the body and serious injuries in the forehead and the rear of the skull.  

It only endorsed the allegations of the SFI leadership and Left parties that he was beaten up by the police while being pushed out of the vehicle carrying those who had courted arrest to a correctional home in the city on Tuesday.

The protests were against the decision of the State government to put on hold student union elections.