Arrested Maoist magazine editor dies in hospital

February 3rd, 2010 - 12:11 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 2 (IANS) The arrested editor of the Bengali edition of the banned Maoist magazine People’s March, Swapan Dasgupta, a blood cancer patient, died in a state-run hospital Tuesday, sparking allegations that the authorities had hastened his death through neglect and lack of proper treatment.
A senior official of the SSKM hospital said a post-mortem and forensic examination will be conducted to pinpoint the exact cause of his death.

Dasgupta, along with the magazine’s publisher Sadananda Singha, was arrested from their residences in the southern outskirts of the city Oct 7 and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for publishing the banned periodical that allegedly contained “seditious matter”.

Dasgupta was detected with blood cancer while in jail and shifted to the jail hospital Oct 17 when his condition deteriorated.

A human rights organisation, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), accused the West Bengal government of not providing proper treatment to Dasgupta.

“They (the government) wanted him to die. They did not even give him a proper bed in hospital initially. It was only late last week that he was shifted to the Intensive Therapy Unit,” its secretary Sujato Bhadra told IANS.

He also alleged that even timely blood transfusion was not given to Dasgupta.

Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman, known for his pro-Maoist views, rushed to the hospital on receiving the news of Dasgupta’s death.

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