Kolkata: Moidul Islam Middhya, a Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activist from of Bankura’s Kotulpur area, who was seriously injured during lathi-charge by the Kolkata Police during the Nabanna march for jobs and education on February 11, succumbed to his injuries on Monday.
Another activist, Dipakkumar Panja is still untraceable, according to DYFI sources.
On February 11, demanding jobs, thousands of youths had marched from College Street in North Kolkata toward the State Secretariat or Nabanna but were stopped by the police near SN Banerjee Road. When the march tried to move ahead after jumping barricades, they had to face brutal lathi-charge that left many protesters injured. Scores of activists are still admitted in hospitals and nursing homes.
On Monday, there was some tension when the police, after the post-mortem, started dilly-dallying in handing over the body to Middhya’s family and fellow activists. After legal intervention by lawyer Sabyasachi Chatterjee, they agreed to hand over the body to the family. Post-mortem formalities were reportedly going on till the time of writing this report.
However, as tension ran high, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed said that Middhya might have died due to kidney ailment. The situation heated up following the death, as Left Front and Congress activists took to the streets.
Later, Banerjee was quoted by PTI as saying that: "I have spoken to Sujan Chakraborty (Left Front leader), and told him that I am ready to provide job and financial support to the family," the chief minister said.
According to DYFI sources, it was they and not the police who took the injured activist to a clinic run by Dr Fuad Halim.
The Communist Party of India (CPI (M), while condoling the activist’s death, termed it as "murder" by the Trinamool Congress government, while the ruling party in the state called it a "suicide", a PTI report said.
"This is nothing but murder. The way the students were lathi-charged during the march shows that the TMC government is scared and worried. The state administration is solely responsible for Middhya's death," CPI (M) leader Sujan Chakraborty told PTI.
CPI (M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, in a statement, demanded that post-mortem examination be videographed and the police officers responsible for the activist’s death be identified and punished.
(with inputs from PTI).