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A week after death of student leader Anish Khan, no leads in case

Activists protest the death of student leader Anish Khan in Kolkata on February 21. | Photo: PTI

Khan was a popular name in Kolkata, known for his social initiatives and involvement in anti-CAA protests

Sami Ahmad | TwoCircles.net

KOLKATA — Seven days after social activist and student leader Anish Khan of Howrah district’s Dakshin Khan Para died, the mystery around his death continues. 

Khan came into limelight for his anti-CAA speeches in Kolkata. 

Anish’s family alleges that they are under pressure to withdraw their demand for a CBI enquiry.

Anish, 28, had returned to his house after attending a jalsa (a religious gathering) in his neighbourhood around midnight, February 18. His father Salam Khan told the reporters that four men barged into his house referring to some case against Anish. One of them held him at gunpoint, while the three frisked Anish and took him upstairs in his under-construction house. After a few minutes the three returned and told the fourth person that the job was done. When the family searched for Anish, he was found dead in front of his house.

Anish’s family alleged that the local police were immediately informed but cops reached their house the next morning. Local police told Anish’s family that no one from their station had gone to Anish’s house.

Anish wrote to the local police seeking protection in May last year, but it was not provided.

Anish, who recently joined ISF- Indian Secular Front, was the youngest among six siblings. He was earlier a member of SFI. 

His last social media post was a song in Bangla and Hindi. 

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced to constitute an SIT comprising three senior IPS officers. After the initial probe, three policemen were suspended. On February 23, two policemen including the one suspended earlier were arrested in this case while the chief minister refused to hand over the case to the CBI.

 Talking to TwoCircles.net Anish’s eldest brother Sabir Khan said that the family had no faith in local police as those who barged into their house and threw Anish to death were either from police or impersonating them. “We want a CBI enquiry,” said Sabir.

Significantly Anish’s family is getting support from various parties in their demand for a proper enquiry by organising protests and giving deputations.

While no one is attributing the tragedy to Trinamool Congress, one of Anish’s complaints to the local police against TMC is doing the rounds. 

Asif Iqbal Khan, a former engineering student of Aliah University, who studied with and knew Anish Khan very well, told TwoCircles.net that Anish wanted to organise a blood donation camp on May 22, 2021 but local TMC leaders had asked to cancel the event without explaining why. According to Anish’s complaint, TMC workers barged into his house and threatened to kill him.   

Anish was an M.B.A. from Aliah University, Kolkata and was pursuing a course in journalism from Kalyani University. As a student leader he was quite popular at Aliah university.

Abu Jafar Molla, the national general secretary of the Fraternity Movement told TwoCircles.net that Anish was found at every movement launched by different organisations. “He was very vocal and spared none including TMC and Mamata. There were issues with local TMC leaders”.

Molla, too, demanded a judicial inquiry in this case.


Sami Ahmad is a journalist based in Patna, Bihar. He tweets at @samipkb.