SFI cuffs probe plea

The Telegraph

April 17: The West Bengal Human Rights Commission today told Anuj Sharma, the inspector-general of police (north Bengal), to conduct an inquiry into why an SFI supporter was allegedly confined to a hospital bed in cuffs throughout Monday night.

“Acting on media reports where the plight of Santosh Sahani was narrated, the WBHRC has taken cognisance of the incident. The IGP (NB) has been ordered to make a personal inquiry, prepare a report with specific observations and submit it to the commission within two weeks from the date of this communication. The communication was sent today,” Rabindranath Samanta, the state rights panel registrar, said over the phone from Calcutta today.

The order was issued by panel chairperson Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly and members, Justice Narayan Chandra Sil and Saurindra Nath Roy, he added.

Calcutta High Court gave permission to advocate Subrata Mukhopadhyay to file a PIL demanding penal action against the persons responsible for keeping Santosh cuffed to his hospital bed at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. Yesterday, the CPM had alleged that Santosh was cuffed to his bed in the male medical ward for seven hours.

The first-year student of Surya Sen College was arrested with 50 other CPM activists after a CPM-Trinamul Congress clash on April 10.

He was admitted to the NBMCH on Monday.

The jail authorities had said that there was a shortage of manpower and so they could not depute adequate number of guards in the male ward.

Twenty guards were posted in the hospital’s prison cell. The cell was full and that is why Santosh was kept in the medical ward.

Yesterday evening, Santosh was shifted to the prison cell of NBMCH.

“The undertrial has been shifted to the prison cell. It was an unfortunate incident and I have been instructed by the IG (prison) to conduct an inquiry and submit a report,” said T.R. Bhutia, superintendent of the Siliguri Special Jail.

“Our doctors have examined him. Necessary tests, including an MRI, have been conducted. He is in a stable condition but under observation at the prison cell,” said Sabyasachi Das, the NBMCH superintendent.

Other arrested CPM workers are behind bars. Citu leaders of the district today said they would launch a movement against the alleged attacks by Trinamul.

“At least seven-eight Citu leaders and workers, including our district general secretary Saman Pathak, are behind bars. They have been wrongly implicated in cases falsely framed by Trinamul in connivance with police. We condemn such… atrocities on the undertrials,” said Gautam Ghosh, secretary of Darjeeling district Citu.

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