Students’ rage over the alleged murder of Anis Khan refuses to die down as protests led by Left Front students and youth organisations rocked the city and Howrah’s Amta on Friday with the protesters taking on cops who tried to crack the whip on them.
A large number of SFI-DYFI workers on Friday morning gathered at Amta police station to raise their demand for a fair probe into the alleged murder of student leader Anis Khan case and book the culprits responsible for the crime.
Sources said, the protesters tried to break the police barricade but cops initially tried to show restraint. As things started to go out of hand, senior police officers, including superintendent of police (Howrah Rural) Soumya Roy, reached the spot.
Police said the protesters hurled water bottles and brickbats at the cops, leaving two cops with minor injuries. The student and youth leaders, however, refuted the claim and blamed cops for the incident.
“The police injured a few of us, including me, during the protest. I received injuries in my leg as the police attempted to disperse our followers. Some of the protesters tried to break the barricade following provocation by the police, but they were stopped,” said Pratikur Rahaman, the SFI’s state committee president.
Rahaman said they had earlier met the Amta police officers and submitted a five-day ultimatum to book the culprits following a fair probe. The ultimatum ended on Friday, he said.
While the students protested at Amta Police station, a delegation of Left leaders headed by Left Front chairman Biman Bose and CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, visited the South Khan Para home of Anis to express solidarity.
As Anis’ father Salem Khan had gone to Uluberia for the TI (test identification) parade, the Left leaders waited for over an hour. They returned only after they spoke to Salem at his home and assured all support in his fight for justice.
In Calcutta, around 60km away from Anis’ home in Amta, the police arrested 67 SFI-DYFI activists, including SFI’s state general secretary Srijan Bhattacharyya, national secretary Mayukh Biswas and JNUSU leader Dipsita Dhar, when they had assembled to take out a protest march from Rashbehari crossing to the Bengal police headquarters at Bhawani Bhawan on Friday afternoon.
Even before the march could start, SFI leaders alleged that a huge contingent of police started to arrest their supporters who had come to “protest Anis Khan’s murder”. They also charged cops with beating up peaceful protesters before arresting them.
“Police threatened us not to take out the march. Defying the threat, we started to march but the police attacked and injured several students. They also did not spare the girls,” said Srijan.
A senior Calcutta police officer, however, refuted the charge and said the protesters had been arrested, taken to Lalbazar and later released.
While the Left have been on the streets seeking justice for Anis, a source in the BJP said that bereaved family members were also in touch with the saffron camp. The source claimed that family members of Anis had spoken to the leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and asked him to support their demand of a CBI probe into the alleged murder.