Witnesses said the students were manhandled by the police and the deceased leader, Sudipta Gupta, was kicked and pushed off from the bus in which the students were being taken. Gupta, a second-year student, was admitted to the SSKM Hospital here where he succumbed to his injuries.
SFI supporters also alleged that authorities took no care for Gupta's treatment. Some of Gupta's shocked friends said he was so mercilessly beaten up that even they could not identify him. Some other students were also badly injured during the brawl.
Sources in the SFI said that a protest rally would be held in the city with Gupta's body. The Mamata Banerjee administration has been slammed by all quarters for the gruesome incident. Left leaders visited Gupta's inconsolable family on Tuesday.
Police, however, said that Gupta's death was caused in an accident. Joint Commissioner of Police (headquaters) Javed Shamim said Sudipta Gupta received an injury in an accident when he, along with 30 others, was being taken in a bus after being arrested. "There was no lathi- charge by the police,' he said.
Police said the SFI supporters turned violent and threw rotten tomatoes and eggs at the police personnel deployed in the area.
Hospital authorities said Gupta was admitted with head injury and was given all medical help. Asked whether he was lathicharged, the hospital spokesman said they would wait for the post-morterm report.
Senior CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim alleged Gupta died in police custody and said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the state's home minister, needed to answer why the youth was "brutally killed". The state Congress leadership sought an independent inquiry into the incident.
(With PTI inputs)