The Trinamool Congress alleged on Thursday that members of the party’s delegation on a two-day visit to Assam to assess the situation after the release of the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) were prevented from leaving the airport in the northeastern state’s Silchar and were even beaten up, The Hindustan Times reports.
The eight-member delegation reached the airport on Thursday around 2pm to attend a citizen’s convention in Silchar and was also supposed to visit Nagaon and Guwahati.
Six MPs Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Ratna De Nag, Nadimul Haque, Arpita Ghosh and Mamata Thakur and Bengal urban development minister Firhad Hakim and MLA Mahua Moitra are part of the delegation.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Please remember we allowed a BJP delegation who breached section 144 of CrPC to visit Asansol during a communal flare-up in April this year. But today, despite assurance from the Union home minister, our delegation was assaulted and even women members were not spared.”
“The police have asked them to go to a specified hotel. Why would they go to a hotel? They went to meet the common people. Did they go there for picnic?” she asked.
“Our delegation was detained at Silchar airport. It is our democratic right to meet people, this is a super emergency like situation,” said party MP Derek O Brien.
“As soon as we reached the arrival lounge of the Silchar airport, we were confronted by a team comprising the district magistrate and police officers. A police officer hit me on the chest. Cops also manhandled Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Mamata Bala Thakur and Mahua Moitra,” alleged Ray, who said he was a heart patient.
“Policemen have snatched our cellphones. They have even manhandled Mahua Moitra, Mamatabala Thakur and me. Sukhendu Shekhar Ray was also thrashed,” Ghosh Dastidar, Lok Sabha MP from Barasat, said.
“We will sit here as long as they don’t allow us to go out,” said Ray.
He said they were waiting for instructions from the party leadership to decide on their next step and that they will bring a privilege motion in Parliament.
Television channels played video clips of police personnel jostling with members of the Trinamool delegation.
“Even a magistrate was present at the airport where we were confined to a room. They would not listen to reason,” said Ghosh Dastidar.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, the delegation went there to “spread tension and create trouble” and that they have no business in Assam.
“They are the problem. Who asked the Trinamool MPs to go there? None else has gone there … They should come back,” Dilip Ghosh, president of West Bengal’s BJP unit, said.
“If they try to create unrest in Assam, the administration will take action. They should be forced out of the state,” BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said.