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To The Chief Minister, Government of West Bengal Dear Ma’am, We are shocked and outraged by your statement made on April 4, 2013 terming the death of student activist Sudipto Gupta in the custody of Kolkata Police as a “small and petty” matter. Even before any inquiry into the death has been concluded, you have characterized it as an “accident”, thus prejudicing any inquiry into the incident being held under the aegis of your Government. Sudipto was arrested along with many other activists by the Kolkata Police during a peaceful student protest on April 2, 2013 demanding the restoration of students’ union elections in West Bengal, which have been indefinitely suspended by your Government. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, the student activists were mercilessly beaten by the Police after being taken into custody, which caused injuries to many students. Sudipto succumbed to his injuries. This is a clear case of police atrocity, for which the Kolkata Police and the State Government have to take responsibility. By shielding the culprits in uniform, you are doing grave injustice. We have noted with concern how serious crimes like rape and murder in West Bengal are going unpunished in case after case. Rather than evoking universal condemnation, these heinous crimes are being looked through the prism of the political affiliation of the victims and perpetrators. Your Government has, on the one hand, gone soft on anti-socials who shot dead a police officer in broad daylight in Kolkata. On the other hand, innocent persons have been charged and arrested for the most trivial of reasons like circulating your cartoons through email or asking critical questions to you in public. This is making a mockery of democracy, human values and the rule of law in West Bengal. Sudipto’s death has shocked the conscience of the student community not only in West Bengal but across the country, with protests erupting in the campuses and beyond. This is not a matter of petty partisan politics but a very serious case of human rights violation, for which responsibility and accountability has to be fixed. Students want Justice for Sudipto. We demand that: (i) The Police Personnel responsible for Sudipto’s death be identified through an Independent Inquiry and strict penal action initiated against them (ii) The State Government must immediately announce the schedule for holding students’ union elections in West Bengal, a demand for which Sudipto laid down his life


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