Thursday, June 1, 2023

SFI to protest across Bengal over death of anti-CAA leader

CPI(M)’s student wing SFI is scheduled to organise protests across West Bengal over the “mysterious” death of Left leader Anish Khan in Howrah district. Khan’s family alleged that people donning police uniforms entered their residence in Amta on Friday night, dragged the Left leader, who had gained prominence during the anti-CAA stir, to the terrace and threw him down, causing his death.
Police, however, denied the allegation that any law enforcer had gone to Khan’s residence, and said that he was found dead near his residence. The incident has triggered widespread protests, with Congress, CPI(M) and BJP accusing local Trinamool Congress leader of masterminding the killing, while the ruling party claimed it was a “deep-rooted conspiracy” which could have been hatched outside West Bengal.
Over 500 students of Aliah University, cutting across party lines, had fought a pitched battle with the police in Kolkata during a candle light vigil on Saturday night. They demanded that the killers of Khan, a prominent face during the agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and initiatives to help the poor during coronavirus-induced lockdowns, be nabbed and given exemplary punishment.
“In solidarity with Khan’s family and protesting students of Aliah University, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) will take out protest rallies across the state on Sunday and Monday,” SFI state committee member Subhajit Sarkar told PTI.
“An SFI delegation led by joint national secretary Dipsita Dhar and state president Pratikur Rahman has visited Khan’s residence. We strongly believe it was not an isolated incident. He was being targeted for quite some time. We suspect the complicity of local TMC leaders in the incident,” Sarkar added.
Agitators will march to Writers’ Building in central Kolkata on Tuesday in protest against the incident.
CPI(M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra has demanded an impartial probe into the incident, which he described as a “ghastly crime”.
State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also alleged that it was a “pre-planned murder” and demanded that those guilty should not get any political protection.
Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, also pointed the accusing finger at TMC.
“TMC men are behind every such incident. How could the assailants procure police uniforms and rifles?” he said.
Transport Minister and Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Firhad Hakim smelled a conspiracy hatched outside the state. “If the alleged incident has really happened, it is reminiscent of happenings in Uttar Pradesh, and not a state like West Bengal, which has a history of progressive movements and democratic traditions.
“We suspect that the incident was planned outside West Bengal by those who didn’t want Khan to be around. Let the investigation be completed,” he said.


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