Uproar in West Bengal Over Murder of Student Leader
In a gruesome incident past Friday midnight, a student leader was thrown off the roof of his house, allegedly by men associated with the ruling party in the state. The incident occurred in the Amta locality of the Howrah district.
As per the family, four men came to their house searching for Aliah University student leader Anis Khan around midnight.
"Four men came to our house around 1 am and started banging the gate. They were shouting Anis's name. I knew he had gone out in the evening; I didn't know if he had returned," said Salaam Khan, Anis Khan's father.
One of them was wearing a police uniform, while the others were in plain clothes. As they entered the house, they went upstairs searching for Anis Khan, where a scuffle broke out. Afterwards, he was thrown off the roof on the fourth floor.
The local police station later said that none of their officers visited Anis Khan's house in Howrah district's Amta that day.
"No teams were sent from these two police stations. A case has been registered under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code," said Saumya Roy, superintendent of police Howrah (Rural).
Locals have alleged that Anis Khan has been murdered by the ruling party hooligans or the police because he led the anti-NRC movement. In the last few months, he was involved with protests at Aliah University and was an active member of the Indian Secular Front.
The news of the murder triggered widespread protests across the state. Aliah University students took out a procession in the Park Circus area.
Community Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) state secretary Suryakanta Mishra condemned the murder and demanded a probe to ascertain the identity of the killers.
"The main duty of the police and state government is to find out Anis Khan's killers and to ascertain whether they are from the police or simply Trinamool Congress (TMC) hooligans on a murdering spree."
The Students' Federation of India (SFI) observed a statewide protest. A delegation of the students' body, comprising general secretary Mayukh Biswas and All India joint secretary Dipshita Dhar, visited Anis Khan's house in Amta and met with his father. The organisation has also called for a strike at Jadavpur University on Tuesday.
Deliberating on the incident, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Md. Salim said, "Anis Khan has been murdered to stall the voice of dissent and protest. It is still unclear whether those who came in police dress are originally police or TMC hooligans. After independence, such cold-blooded murder of a student movement activist has been a rarity in West Bengal. Anis Khan had been evicted out of his house by TMC hooligans, and after he returned to his house, this gruesome killing happened."
NewsClick has a copy of a police complaint registered by Anis Khan on May 24 last year, in which he feared that his life was under threat from TMC hooligans. In his complaint, Anis Khan had named local deputy pradhan, booth sabhapati Malek Khan, and other TMC members.
As per news reports, the state government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter.
It can be recalled that thousands of Aliah University students have been protesting for the last 137 days to save their university. As part of these protests, they took out rallies and held dharnas within the university premises.
Previously known as Mohammedan College of Calcutta, it was alleviated to university status in 2008. At the time, TMC had protested against this decision to turn the college into a full-fledged university. As per the students, the university has been made dysfunctional in the last 10 years, with its education standards depleting day-by-day.
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