CPIM youth wing activist dies in Bengal; party alleges police brutality
A 31-year-old activist of the Democratic Youth Federation of India, the youth wing of the CPIM, died on Monday, four days after he was allegedly beaten up by the police during a protest march in Kolkata.
The victim has been identified as Maidul Islam Midda who allegedly sustained severe injuries on February 11 when police used tear gas, water cannons and resorted to lathicharge to disperse protesters in central Kolkata.
“He was murdered on the chief minister’s orders. We want justice. We are going for a state-wide protest,” DYFI secretary Sayandip Mitra said.
Midda, an auto-rickshaw driver and a resident of Bankura district, had come to Kolkata to participate in the protest. The activists were marching towards the state secretariat at Nabanna with a set of demands, including jobs. When police stopped them in central Kolkata, the activists reportedly tried to break the barricades and a clash followed. The activists reportedly attacked the police with stones and sticks. Dozens of Congress and Left activists, and some police personnel were injured in the clash.
The next day, the Left Front called for a 12-hour state-wide bandh with the Congress supporting it.
Reacting to the death, minister Subrata Mukherjee said, “Any death is unfortunate. But I am aware of the CPIM’s game plan as I have been fighting them for the past few decades. They wanted this to happen. Police were restrained on that day. But if someone wants to commit suicide, no one can help them.”
Meanwhile, the Opposition mounted attack on the Mamata Banerjee administration, saying that the government was trying to throttle all protests.
“This is a murder by the state government. The way police attacked the students can only be compared with the Jallianwala Bagh incident. More than 500 students were injured when police brutally attacked them,” CPIM leader Sujan Chakraborty said.
“This is an autocratic government. The administration is trying to snatch the people’s democratic rights. People are not being allowed to protest...People have to organise a mass movement against this,” said Abdul Mannan, veteran Congress leader and the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal assembly.
“Police have turned violent. Even BJP protesters were attacked when they marched towards Nabanna on October 8, 2020. Even protesting teachers were attacked. The administration has lost the people’s confidence and is now unleashing terror,” said Dilip Ghosh, state president of BJP.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- TMC releases first list of 291 candidates for West Bengal assembly polls, CM Mamata Banerjee to contest from Nandigram
- The opposition leader is also scheduled to meet senior TMC minister Firhad Hakim and hold talks about the upcoming Bengal polls.
- TMC and BJP have dismissed the Left rally as insignificant. While the TMC claims CM Mamata Banerjee will return to power for the third time, BJP says the elections are bi-polar and there is no space for the Left.
- The BJP lodged a complaint in the Phoolbagan police station. Senior BJP leaders of the state rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
- The TMC asked the EC why the polls could not be held in fewer phases.
- She alleged that the poll panel scheduled the election dates keeping in mind the BJP’s demands.
- The CBI earlier questioned Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee in the case.
- Besides rallies, the chief minister’s itinerary could include religious stopovers at important places of worship.
- "Modi government only makes false promises, has done nothing to bring down fuel prices," PTI quoted the Bengal chief minister as saying.