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West Bengal: Third year student beaten to death in Sabong college, 3 arrested

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A college student was allegedly beaten to death in a clash between student unions over felicitation of West Bengal minister Soumen Kumar Mahapatra at a college at Sabang, in West Midnapore district, on Friday. The victim has been identified as Krishna Prasad Jana, 21, a BA Third Year student of Sajanikanta Mahavidyalaya. According to reports, Jana was a member of Chhatra Parishad (CP), the Congress students’ wing. Police said a complaint had been filed by the CP against some Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) students accusing them of beating Jana with sticks and bats. The TMCP has filed a counter-complaint alleging that they were attacked by CP students. Sabong police station in-charge Prasanta Pathak said three persons have been arrested so far. CP, which occupies all the 31 seats in the college, in its complaint said that they were being forced to attend a relief distribution programme to be organised by the TMC where state minister Soumen Kumar Mahapatra was to be felicitated. When Jana tried to protest, the TMCP members attacked him with sticks and cricket bats inside the union room, the complaint said. Jana was rushed to the hospital but was declared brought dead, he said. “We have collected CCTV footage from the college administration, which is yet to be examined. The college has been currently locked down till further notice,” the officer said. A CP activist, Arijit Chakraborty, alleged that TMCP students killed Jana because he had refused to join their union. “Today, they found an excuse,” he added. Following Jana’s death, Congress workers put up road blockades at Sabong and neighbouring Temathani, and locked college principal Dr Kanailal Paria. “It happened very suddenly. I heard a commotion. There had been many outsiders as admission process was on so it was difficult to identify students from offenders who were outsiders,” Paria said over the phone. Professor Ranjan Kumar Auddy, said, “I was in the class when I heard a loud noise. I saw a student being beaten up and later, being carried away by some students. I could not identify those who were beating him,” he said. Congress MLA from Sabang, Manas Bhuniya, rushed to the spot. “TMC leaders Tarun Mishra and Bipul Maity, who used to be CPM workers, had led the attack along with several outsiders. They had locked the union room and when Jana went to protest, they attacked and killed him. It goes on to prove the prevailing lawlessness in the state and the kind of insecurity we are living in”. Denying all charges, state TMCP president Ashok Rudra, said, “The incident is sad and we condemn it. But TMCP students are not involved in it. The clash was the result of an internal feud within the Chhatra Parishad.” Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the incident as “most unfortunate” and ordered police inquiry into the matter. “It is a sad incident. I strictly condemn it. I have asked the police to inquire into it and take stern action,” Mamata told reporters here on her arrival here at the state secretariat, from North Bengal. Mamata, too, denied the involvement of TMCP in the entire incident. “The student was killed inside the college union room which was locked. The union is of Chhatra Parishad, and not of TMCP. The incident took place due to a scuffle among the CP students in which Jana got hit,” Mamata said. State education minister Partha Chatterjee said he had instructed the district administration to probe into the matter. Left Front state chairman Biman Bose said the incident depicted the state of lawlessness in Bengal. “We strongly condemn it,” he said. State CPM secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said it was sad to see that Jana was brutally killed because he refused to be part of Trinamool’s relief distribution programme. “As a mark of protest, we urge people from all around to put up a protest in whatever form they can. If this is not done, the TMCP-sponsored atrocities will never end,” he said. BJP MLA Samik Bhattacharya said the incident proved that the TMC was just a group of violent persons than a political party. Both the CP and Students’ Federation of India (SFI) have called a state-wide strike on Saturday to protest against the student’s death.

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