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Rights body directs police to probe SFI leader’s death

Staff Reporter
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Activists of the JNU students’ union staging a protest against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Banga Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday, following the death of SFI leader Sudipta Gupta.— Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
Activists of the JNU students’ union staging a protest against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Banga Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday, following the death of SFI leader Sudipta Gupta.— Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

 Taking a serious view of the death of Students’ Federation of India leader Sudipta Gupta in police custody, the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) directed the City Police Commissioner on Wednesday to probe the matter and submit a report within seven days.

 “The Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of the matter and directed the Commissioner of City Police to probe the matter by an officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police,” WBHRC joint secretary Sujay Kumar Halder told The Hindu , adding that the Commissioner had been asked to include his own remarks on the incident.

The Commission has also formed its own investigating team to examine witnesses and other evidence to find out the cause of the death of Gupta, who died on Tuesday evening hours after sustaining serious injuries while being taken to a correctional home in the city. “The investigation team comprises the Commission’s Additional Director General, police, and its Registrar.” Mr. Haldar said.

 While the SFI leadership alleged that Gupta was beaten up by the police and pushed out of the vehicle carrying its supporters arrested at a law violation programme earlier in the day, the police maintained that he died after hitting a lamppost.

Judicial probe demand

The Opposition, including the Left Front, has demanded a thorough probe into the incident.

Demanding a judicial inquiry, Left Front Committee chairperson Biman Bose said there was hardly any scope left for investigating agencies to probe the matter after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tried to pass off the death as an accident.

“We are sure that the department inquiry will not reveal much.”

Commenting on Ms. Banerjee’s remarks Pradesh Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said she had come to a conclusion even before an inquiry into the matter had even started.

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