Kolkata, Feb 4: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday visited the house of a college student who died after being beaten up for allegedly protesting the harassment of women, and ordered police to arrest the guilty.
The 20-year-old youth, Arup Bhandari, who slipped into coma after being beaten up for protesting the harassment of women during an idol immersion procession in Howrah district, succumbed to his injuries Monday.
The incident led to an outcry by opposition parties against the Banerjee government over its law and order record and "patronage of criminals".
After talking to the family members for about 15 minutes at their residence in Salkia, Banerjee termed the incident "unfortunate", but said it was the result of a clash between "two groups".
"As you know, it was a clash between two groups. It was an unfortunate incident, it should not have happened," the chief minister told media persons outside the residence.
When newspersons refered to reports that he died protesting against harassment of woman, Banerjee said: "If that be so, then those who have been teased have to be found out first."
Banerjee said police should have acted immediately but assued the youth's parents that the culprits would all be nabbed.
"Wherever they may be hiding, they will be punished. I have asked my police officers to do the needful."
Governor Kesri Nath Tripathi Wednesday condemned the incident and asked police to take steps to round up those involved.
Tripathi referred to media reports that Bhandari was mercilessly beaten up by drunken youths after he protested the harassment.
"The attack on the boy and such behaviour against women are condemnable," he said Wednesday on the sidelines of a function in the city.
The opposition continued to hit the streets to protest the incident.
Around 20 Congress supporters were arrested for putting up a blockage at Bagnan station and on national highway-6.
Life was partially disrupted in Howrah district following a 12-hour shutdown called by the Left Front, the Congress and the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist).