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Comrade’s dad meets bereaved father

Two fathers brought together by a tragedy spent half an hour in the comfort of each other’s company on Sunday.

Injured SFI leader Joseph Hossain’s father called on Pranab Gupta, the father of Sudipto Gupta, who died in police custody after taking part in a law-violation programme on Rani Rashmoni Avenue, at the latter’s home in New Garia.

“I wanted to meet Sudipto’s father and offer my condolences,” said Azad Hossain, describing both as “victims of the same wrongdoing”.

Azad, who is the gram panchayat secretary of Rasulpur area in Murshidabad and a member of a CPM branch committee, took the decision to meet the Guptas in consultation with SFI leaders, who he met on Saturday night.

Azad reached the Guptas’ New Garia home around 11.30am, accompanied by Murshidabad SFI president Dhrubojyoti Saha, SFI all- India joint secretary Satarup Ghosh and state secretariat member Sagnik Sengupta.

An emotional Pranab enquired about Joseph and Azad, who had met his son at CMRI Hospital on Saturday, assured him that Joseph’s condition had improved and he was likely to be discharged this week. Joseph had sustained severe injuries in his right arm and had to undergo surgery.

Azad said Joseph was eager to meet Sudipto’s father after his release from hospital. “He is feeling better and wants to resume work for the SFI once he is fine and I will support him in his endeavours,” said Azad, who had earlier admitted to having encouraged his son to take part in the law-violation programme.

Pranab confided in Azad how difficult he was finding it to come to terms with his son’s death and the state government’s apathy towards the incident.

The retired central government employee, however, reiterated that he did not need any financial assistance from the state.

“The chief minister had spoken of providing financial aid but I do not need it,” he said.

Azad described the chief minister’s attitude towards Sudipto’s family as “unacceptable”. “Forget about visiting the family, she did not even speak to Sudipto’s father to express her condolence.”

“I have taken Pranabda’s number and will keep in touch with him regularly,” promised Azad, who left for Murshidabad with his wife Jahura Begum on Sunday afternoon.