Kolkata: Three people have been arrested for beating a student to death inside a college in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district, police said on Saturday. However, the district police chief said none of the three were seen with any weapon in the CCTV footage.
The incident took place at Sabang Sajanikanta Mahavidyalaya in West Midnapore on Friday when Krishna Prasad Jana, a BA student, was beaten to death during a clash between two groups of students.
“Six people were named in the complaint and last night (Friday), we arrested three of them. We are looking for the rest three,” a police officer said.
While the officer refused to comment on their political affiliation, he said the arrested trio were former students of the college.
But Superintendent of Police Bharati Ghosh said the CCTV footage from the union room showed none of those arrested or against whom complaints were lodged carrying ‘lathis’ (bamboo staffs).
“None of the six whose names figure in the FIR were seen wielding lathis. There is no such video footage featuring the three arrested also,” she said.
Ghosh said the footage did not show two groups of students clashing. “There was only one group of student wielding the lathis and beating up others,” she said.
The incident has taken a political colour with the opposition Congress accusing the Trinamool Congress students’ wing of orchestrating the attack while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as well as Education Minister Partha Chatterjee attributed the death to internal feud among the Congress affiliated Chhatra Parishad activists.
An eye witness and complainant in the case, Somen Ganguly, claimed Jana was killed for his refusal to felicitate state minister Soumen Kumar Mahapatra.
“When Jana refused to go and join the felicitation of the minister, a group of 30-40 students attacked him with sticks and rods. We want those who killed him be given exemplary punishment,” said Ganguly.
While Mahapatra has denied the charges, former minister and Congress leader Manas Bhuniya indicted the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad for the lynching.
Besides the Congress affiliated Chhatra Parishad observing a students’ strike on Saturday, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) backed Students’ Federation of India (SFI) organised a ‘condemnation day’ to protest the incident.
The SFI also called a strike in schools and colleges.