Tewari wants ‘minimum protocol’ for cops tackling protests

New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) Terming the death of young SFI activist Sudipto Gupta in Kolkata “extremely unfortunate and disturbing”, union minister Manish Tewari Friday said parties should together evolve a minimum protocol on how police should deal with peaceful protests.

“What happened with that young boy, Sudipto Gupta, is something extremely unfortunate, extremely disturbing. And political parties need to rise above political concerns and evolve a common minimum protocol on how police should deal with peaceful protests,” the information and broadcasting minister told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Gupta, a member of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the youth wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), died due to head injuries he received during a protest march in Kolkata on April 2.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said the 23-year-old’s death was an accident and a petty matter. “It is a small and petty matter. It was an accident, there was no police atrocity. You can see the post-mortem report,” she had said.

Thousands of students had descended on the streets of Kolkata Thursday to protest the death of the student. The police maintain the youth died after his head hit a lamppost when he fell off the bus in which arrested students were being taken to jail. The SFI maintains he was hit by police.

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