Understudy declines to congratulate mantri, TMC goons murder him
A student was beaten to death in a college in Sabang, West Midnapore, by alleged Trinamool Congress supporters when he refused to follow their diktat to felicitate a state minister on Friday morning. The murder is a fall-out of Trinamool muscle-flexing to gain control of campuses across Bengal, prompting the Left Front and Congress to call for statewide protests on Saturday.
CM Mamata Banerjee joined the chorus of condemnation but said Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) wasn’t involved. She blamed Chhatra Parishad (CP), student wing of Congress, for locking up the principal. Education minister Partha Chatterjee said he was “shocked and pained” but called the victim, Krishna Prasad Jana, an outsider and wondered what he was doing in the college.
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Around 1.30pm, TMCP supporters and outsiders barged into Sabang Sajanikanta Mahavidyalaya, where CP controls the students’ union. Shouting “TMCP zindabad”, they entered the union room and demanded that all CP supporters come out to greet Trinamool minister Soumen Mahapatra, who was touring flood-hit Sabang.
CP supporters opposed this. Krishna was among the most vocal. “Why should we go just because your minister is visiting our area?” Krishna told TMCP members. Some youths armed with sticks and iron rods pounced on Krishna and dragged him out. He was beaten in front of the library, as students watched in horror.
Soumen Ganguly and Saugam Sen of CP tried to save Krishna but they were beaten, too. Some TMCP men allegedly locked the union room from outside and continued bludgeoning Krishna.
When he started bleeding from his head, nose and mouth, the attackers fled. CP supporters scrambled to take Krishna to hospital but a college teacher refused to lend them his car, Sen alleged. They put Krishna on a bike and took him to hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
Mamata Banerjee blamed Congress for blocking access to the victim. “From what I have heard, the union room was locked from inside while the principal was locked in his office from outside. A clash broke out inside the union room and there was no way the principal could get out to prevent the attackers from beating the victim,” Mamata said.