Silchar. A Trinamool Congress delegation which reached here today to assess the situation in Assam in the wake of the publication of the complete draft of the citizen’s register was stopped at the airport, officials said.
According to TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, who is a member of the team, the police stopped them at the airport saying their visit might create trouble and manhandled them.
“It’s murder of democracy. We were not allowed to go out,” he said. The TMC leaders were supposed to hold a meeting at an auditorium here.
Party supremo Mamata Banerjee claimed that members of the TMC delegation, including women, were manhandled at the airport and accused the BJP of imposing “super emergency” in the country.
The BJP was exposed by this incident, she said and sought to know under which law was the TMC delegation stopped.
The TMC delegation including six MPs were kept in the VIP lounge of Kumbhigram airport here in Cachar district under Barak Valley region, the officials said.
The deputy commissioner, the SP and five magistrates were in the airport to talk to the TMC delegation. The Cachar district administration last night issued prohibitory order under Section 144 of the CrPC.
However, district administration sources said the prohibitory order has nothing to do with the visit of the TMC delegation. The TMC team went there at the instruction of Mamata Banerjee. ADGP (special branch) Pallab Bhattacharya said that security has been beefed up at Silchar. “We will take whatever measures needed for maintenance of law and order,” he said.
Wondering why they were stopped, MP Roy told a TV channel, “They manhandled us including our women members. I am a heart patient. We have come here to talk to those people whose names were deleted. We are not here to create any trouble. But they have not allowed us.” “BJP president Amit Shah will go to Bengal. We will not stop him,” he said.
Another TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar alleged that they were stopped and police could not show us any order in this regard.
Echoing her, fellow MP Mamatabala Devi alleged that they were pushed and manhandled by the police.
“We have come here to assess the situation and talk to those people. We are on dharna at the airport”, she said. There was no immediate reaction from the state administration regarding the TMC’s allegations.
Reacting to the visit of the TMC delegation, student leader and AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi claimed that Mamata Banerjee is playing votebank politics.
“She is trying to polarise the people of Assam and disturb the peaceful situation in the state. She should have sent the delegation before the NRC was published if she is so worried about the Bengalis and Muslims living here,” he said.
“We have a chief minister here. No outside chief minister can decide the fate of the indigenous people of Assam,” Gogoi said.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh also supported the Assam government’s move to stop the TMC delegation.
“The TMC government did not allow us to go Basirhat in the past. They don’t give us democratic rights. They have no business to talk about democracy. They have gone there to create civil war,” he said, adding “They are enacting drama”.
A statement issued by the TMC in Kolkata said the party delegation comprised 6 MPs, one state minister and one MLA.
“They had not gone there to break the law. Yet, they were beaten up. Senior MPs were pushed and shoved. Female MPs were manhandled. Is this democracy? This is Super Emergency. The issue was raised in Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day (on this issue),”, the statement said.
Mamata Banerjee earlier accused the BJP-led central government of resorting to “vote-bank politics” on the NRC issue and said “Indian citizens have become refugees” in their own land.