TMC delegation detained at Silchar airport

TMC delegation detained at Silchar airport

Trinamool Congress delegation being stopped by Assam Police as they arrived to assess the situation in Assam in the wake of the publication of the complete draft of the NRC, at Kumbhirgram airport in Silchar on Thursday. PTI

Amid high drama, a delegation sent by the Trinamool Congress to assess the situation in Assam post-NRC was stopped at the airport here on Thursday and the members taken under preventive detention later, prompting Mamata Banerjee to cry foul.

The members were taken under preventive detention under 151 CrPC (arrest to prevent the commission of cognisable offences), ADGP Mukesh Agarwala said.

The TMC leaders would be sent back on Friday to West Bengal, he said.

Asked whether they would stay at the airport overnight, he said the police was looking into the protocol.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the incident and claimed her partymen were manhandled at the airport.

She also accused the BJP of imposing "super emergency" in the country and "showing muscle power".

The issue also figured in Lok Sabha when TMC members, led by senior leader Saugata Ray, protested the detention of four party MPs and demanded a response from the government in the House.

Trinamool Congress MPs Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Arpita Ghosh, Mamata Thakur, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Nadimul Haque besides state minister Firhad Hakim and MLA Mohua Maitra were detained.

"Assam Police have detained them at Silchar Airport. They (Assam Police) were interfering with the free movement of people. This is a breach of privilege," Ray said, adding, "We want the government's response on this."

Ray said he will bring a privilege motion against the Assam government in the Lok Sabha.

Banerjee said that the BJP stands exposed by this incident and sought to know under which law the TMC delegation was stopped at the airport.

Arriving in Kolkata from Delhi, where she met a number of Opposition leaders, she told reporters that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured her that no one would be harassed on the NRC issue.

"But the TMC delegates have not been allowed to go out of the (Silchar) airport. They have been manhandled. Even women members have not been spared," she claimed.

Meanwhile, two more FIRs were lodged in Assam against Banerjee for her alleged instigating remarks threatening the unity of the country and her alleged attempt to create unrest in the state, Assam Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said.

Another FIR was lodged against her in Lakhimpur district on Wednesday.

According to Roy, the police stopped them at the Silchar airport saying their visit might create trouble and manhandled them.