KOLKATA: A 31-year-old activist of CPI(M)’ youth wing DYFI, who was injured during a protest march in Kolkata on February 11, died on Monday. The Left Front alleged that the police high-handedness, ordered by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, claimed the life of the youth.
The victim has been identified as Mridul Islam Midda, a resident of Bankura district. He was working as a driver of a battery-operated rickshaw. Doctors, who treated Midda, said the victim’s renal failure and massive cardiac arrest led to his death.
“This a murder by the state government. The way police attacked the protesters can only be compared with the Jalianwala Bagh incident. More than 500 students were injured in police brutality,” said CPI(M)’s politburo member Mohammed Salim.
The Chief Minister, however, said she ordered the police to explore all possibilities to ascertain the exact reason behind Midda’s death. “Any death is painful. I have communicated with CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakrabarty and told him that the government is ready to help the family of the person by offering them monetary assistance or a government job,” she said.
Leaders of the Congress, which formed an alliance to fight together in the upcoming Assembly elections, also slammed the state government. “This is an autocratic government. It is trying to snatch away people’s democratic rights. We will have to build up a mass movement against this,” said senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan.
Bengal BJP, too, condemned the death. “Police have turned violent in the state. BJP supporters were also attacked when they marched towards the state secretariat in October last year,” said the state president Dilip Ghosh.