Facebook outrage against SFI leader’s death

Kolkata, April 7 (IANS) Netizens have reacted with outrage and shock over the death of student leader Sudipta Gupta in police custody here.

Joining the widespread protests on the streets of Kolkata, Facebook members have lit candles on their page as a mark of respect for the 24-year-old Students Federation of India leader Gupta who died Tuesday.

Some have marked their protest with pictures of the victim.

Gupta, a promising leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s student wing SFI, died after his arrest for taking part in a protest against the West Bengal government’s decision to stall student council elections in colleges for six months.

His comrades alleged that Gupta died after being beaten by police with batons that resulted in his head crashing against a lamp post.

But Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed it was an accident that happenned when Gupta’s head hit the lamppost and dismissed the incident as a “small” and “petty” matter.

“A young leader who used to listen to Bob Dyllan… loved Kabir Suman lyrics… had been greatly influenced by Salil Chowdhury… poltical tycoons, u carry on with your blamegames,” posted Shanoo Gogol Chakraborty on Facebook.

There are protest pictures, slogans and posts.

Saumya Mukherjee, an MBA student, regretted that such an incident could take place in Kolkata, and posted Bertolt Brecht’s famous quote on Facebook:

“First they came for the Communists, And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the socialists, And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for me, And there was no one left to speak for me.”

Some members, blaming the Mamata Banerjee government for Gupta’ death, have questioned the “paribarton” (change) that was to have ushered in when the Left was ousted two years back.

Pictures of Gupta on Facebook show him reading and writing.

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