March to Nabanna: Injured DYFI activist dies; sparks political slugfest in Bengal

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(Eds: Adds details) Kolkata, Feb 15 (PTI) A DYFI activist who was injured in a clash with the police during the Left parties' march to West Bengal secretariat Nabanna on February 11 succumbed to his injuries on Monday morning, igniting a political row in the state.

The CPI (M) has termed its youth wing cadre's death a 'murder' by the TMC government, while the ruling party in the state called it a 'suicide'.

Maidul Islam Midya, a resident of Kotulpur in Bankura district, was critically injured and was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in south Kolkata, a health official said.

He had suffered renal failure, following which he died due to cardiac arrest in the morning, CPI (M) leader Dr Fuad Halim, at whose medical facility Midya was being treated, said.

An FIR was registered with the Shakespeare Sarani police station in connection with Midya's death, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said.

'We are thoroughly probing the matter. A post-mortem examination will be conducted,' he said.

The CPI (M) has held the TMC government responsible for his death.

'This is nothing but murder. The way the students were lathi-charged during the march shows that the TMC government is scared and worried. The state administration is solely responsible for Midya's death,' CPI (M) leader Sujan Chakraborty told PTI.

Comparing the police action with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, he said that the agitators were not left with an escape route and were beaten up mercilessly.

'The Centre has declared war on farmers in Delhi.

Similar things are happening in this state,' he said.

State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh also mourned Midya's death and lashed out at the TMC government.

'This is an unfortunate incident. It shows that the TMC government has lost control over everything. Whatever is happening in West Bengal is not correct,' he said.

State Panchayat Minister and senior TMC leader Subrata Mukherjee alleged that the CPI (M) had deliberately created trouble during the stir to garner public support for the upcoming assembly elections due in April-May.

'Any death is unfortunate. But that day the police was very sensible. I think this is nothing but suicide. They wanted a dead body,' he said.

Reacting sharply to the veteran TMC leader's comment, CPI (M) Rajya Sabha MP Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said, 'Democratic values cannot be expected from Mukherjee who has grown up in a fascist atmosphere.' CPI (M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, in a statement, demanded that the post-mortem examination has to be videographed and the police officers responsible for Midya's death have to be identified and punished.

Student and youth wings of Left parties had clashed with the police during the rally, leading to injuries on both sides.

The police had resorted to lathi-charge, burst tear gas shells and used water cannons to disperse the activists.

The Left Front had called a 12-hour state-wide bandh on February 12 in protest against the police action. PTI SCH AMR ACD ACD