Rights panel blames cops for Sudipta death

Compensation: Directs state to pay Rs 10 lakh to SFI leader’s kin

Written by Arshad Ali | Kolkata | Published: August 27, 2013 2:53 am

In its report submitted Monday,the West Bengal Human Rights Commission has slammed the Kolkata Police for the death of SFI leader Sudipta Gupta on April 2. “Had the police been more alert and acted in a more professional manner,” Gupta’s “death could have been averted,” the report read.

The report,however,did mention that Gupta died after his head getting slammed against a lamppost and not by being beaten up by the policemen as his friends and family members claimed.

The commission also went through the investigation reports filed by the police. Besides terming the police partially responsible,the commission’s report also pointed out that the bus carrying Sudipta and others was being driven by a person who did not have a driving license.

A senior official of the commission suggested that the state government pay Gupta’s next of kin a sum of at least Rs 10 lakh. “Another protestor,Joseph Hossain,who was injured,should be paid Rs 3 lakh for his medical expenses,” the official added.

Elaborating on the “unprofessional approach” adopted by the police,the official pointed out the “lack of security inside the bus,which led to the students demanding that they walk to the jail.”

Family members of the deceased SFI leader,however,were not happy with the commission’s report. “It is not very different from what the Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) had said. She,too,had offered money and job,but we refused it because we wanted speedy justice and punishment to the offenders. This time,too,the recommendation to pay Rs 10 lakh sounded like paying hush money to the family because the agitation has reached the national level,” Gupta’s sister,Sumita Sengupta said.

“All of us have gone through a lot of physical and mental trauma since my brother’s death. And even after five months,justice is yet to be served. All we have received is humiliation.

First,the CM referred to it as a petty affair; now the Human Rights Commission,upon which we were depending for a recommendation to prod the state machinery to serve justice,has recommended a monetary compensation. We don’t want this,” Sengupta said.

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