Paresh’s mother Sita mourne his death in Sandeshkhali. (Sanjib Chaki)
Kalinagar, Jan. 16: The mother of Paresh Mondal, the college student in North 24-Parganas who fell prey to suspected campus politics yesterday, said she was not aware of the allegation that her son was beaten up and added he could have died of illness.
“I don’t know anything about my son being beaten to death. He had gone out in the morning and returned home in the afternoon. After taking a bath, he complained of a splitting headache. He was sweating and said he was feeling like vomiting,” said Sita Mondal, a widow.
“Paresh told us he fell down while bathing as he was feeling sick. Two of my daughters and some neighbours took him to the chamber of (quack) Prabin Mondal,” she added.
Sita said the family was not aware of any previous life-threatening illness of Paresh, who had filed his nomination for the post of general secretary of the college union.
Food and civil supplies minister Jyotipriya Mullick had yesterday alleged that Paresh had been beaten to death by SFI and CPM activists outside Kalinagar College. An officer of Sandeshkhali police station had said the body had bruises.
Paresh’s sisters and neighbour Mamata Das, a CPI member of the local Left-run Sahera Nityaberia gram panchayat, also said the student had fallen ill after returning home yesterday. “ I don’t know why the allegation that Paresh was beaten to death was made,” Das said.
Paresh’s elder brother Tapan, a farmer, had lodged a murder case at Sandeshkhali police station last night.
Asked why he lodged the murder case, Tapan said: “My brother did not have any illness. Then how did he suddenly fall ill? Some people must have done something to him. I have lodged an FIR against unknown people.”
When The Telegraph asked minister Mullick today about the basis of his allegation that Paresh was beaten to death, he said: “We are not denying that he fell ill after reaching home. He was not attacked by any sharp or blunt weapon, but was kicked and punched. He might have suffered an internal haemorrhage. The police have recorded the statement of a tea-stall owner who saw Paresh being beaten up. Seven or eight persons had attacked Paresh.”
This correspondent saw only one tea stall in the area where Paresh was allegedly beaten up. Asked if he had seen anything, the owner said on condition of anonymity: “I can’t say anything in this regard.”
Two persons have been arrested so far in connection with Paresh’s death.
Additional superintendent of police Bhaskar Mukherjee said: “They have been remanded in four days’ police custody.”
One of the arrested persons, Basudeb Das, is a third year BA student of Kalinagar College. He had contested the last college poll as an SFI candidate. The other, Susanta Mullik, was once a general secretary of the college’s SFI union.
A police officer said: “Preliminary investigations suggest that some students were creating pressure on Paresh to withdraw his nomination.”
The police refused comment on the preliminary post-mortem report and Mullick’s claim that a witness’s statement had been recorded.