Kolkata: A leader of CPI(M) students' wing, who was arrested after a clash with police, died here today triggering a row with the men in uniform claiming he fell from a vehicle while the party alleged he succumbed to injuries sustained in the lathicharge by police.
Joint Commissioner of Police (headquaters) Javed Shamim told PTI that 22-year-old Sudipta Gupta died in a city hospital. "He received an injury in an accident when he, along with 30 others, was being taken in a bus after being arrested. There was no lathicharge by the police."
The incident happened when SFI supporters gathered in Rani Rasmoni area of the city in connection with a protest rally to demand holding of college union elections in the state.
Police said SFI supporters turned violent and threw rotten tomatoes and eggs at the police personnel deployed in the area. Police then arrested 331 SFI supporters and Gupta along with 30 other supporters were put into the bus from which he accidently fell and was injured.
He was immediately shifted to a government hospital where he died in the evening, the police said.
The hospital authorities said Gupta was admitted with head injury and was administered all medical help.
Asked whether he was lathicharged, the hospital spokesman said "we need to wait for the post morterm report."
Senior CPI-M leader Mohammed Salim alleged Gupta died in police custody and said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the Home Minister of the state, needed to answer why the youth was "brutally killed".
The state Congress leadership also demanded an independent inquiry into the incident.
"The death was not natural - it was unnatural. So, an independent inquiry is a must to look into the incident in order to bring out the truth," state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharjee said.
Police said four police officials were injured seriously during the scuffle with the SFI supporters.