A 27-year-old former student of Aliah University, Anis Khan, was found dead near his house in Howrah's Amta past Friday midnight, his parents alleging the youth was thrown off the rooftop by four policemen who came looking for their son.
Police denied having sent any personnel to Anis's house on Friday night. However, the news of his death due to alleged police excess triggered widespread protests in Calcutta’s Park Circus on Saturday evening where some protesters clashed with the cops
Sources said Anis, who was associated with the Indian Secular Front led by Abbas Siddiqui, was an SFI supporter during his days in Amta College.
The police have drawn up a murder case based on a complaint filed by Salam Khan, Anis's father.
Salam alleged that four personnel, including three civic volunteers, had barged into his Amta house on Friday night. One of the four was in his police uniform. The team wanted to know about his son's whereabouts. There were cases pending against Anis with Amta police, they said, according to Salam.
“I told them he had gone to attend a jalsa in the locality…. They refused to accept it and three of them ran upstairs. Soon I heard a sound and found my son lying in a pool of blood below,” Salam told reporters on Saturday afternoon. He alleged his son was thrown off the roof by the four.
Senior police officers overseeing the probe from Howrah rural district said no team was sent to Anis's house.
A preliminary post-mortem report revealed Anis suffered severe injuries on the back of his head and body and there were few marks on his right leg. Officers said they were awaiting the final report.
Anis had participated in a movement by students of the Aliah University against the poor functioning of the varsity after they were asked to vacate a month back due to rising Covid numbers.
Minister and Trinamul Congress leader Firhad Hakim said there should be a thorough probe into the incident as to how four persons posing as police could enter a house. “Such incidents are known to occur in UP and not in Bengal,” Hakim said.
The death sparked off a political row with the SFI condemning the “murder” and announcing a statewide agitation on Sunday to demand justice for Anis.
CPM leader Mohd Salim said: “I can’t recall if such a gruesome murder ever happened in post-Independent India. I'm not sure if it has happened in pre-Independent India either. Anis Khan was leading a students’ protest for the last 137 days at Aliah University against the Mamata Banerjee government’s bid to take away varsity land given to it during the Left Front regime.”
ISF leader and Bhangar MLA Naushad Siddiqui said: “The real culprits behind this incident have to be identified. If that doesn't happen, people will lose faith in the police."