TMC Leaders Return To Bengal After Overnight Detention At Silchar

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Kolkata: A day after an eight-member delegation of the Trinamool Congress was barred from leaving the Silchar airport in Guwahati, six of them on Friday returned to Kolkata. Two others are expected to leave later on Friday. The delegation had arrived in Assam to participate in a convention against Assam’s recently-released draft National Register of Citizenship (NRC) published last month on July 30.

“We are going back. The police have not allowed us to go out. We requested them several times but they refused. We spent the night in three rooms at the airport,” Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy was quoted as saying by PTI. He has left Assam along with MPs Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Ratna De Nag and Nadimul Haque, and West Bengal ministers Firhad Hakim and MLA Mohua Moitra.

MPs Mamatabala Thakur and Arpita Ghosh will leave the state later today.

The visit by the delegation on Thursday was marred with allegations of assault and manhandling. While the Assam Directorate General of Police (DGP) claimed two constables suffered injuries after being “assaulted” by Moitra, the TMC has said its members were “roughed up” at the airport.

Moitra told IndianExpress.com, “They restrained us without any reason and wouldn’t let us move. They manhandled us.”

TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday blamed the BJP for the incident. “Why is the Assam government behaving like this, along with the Centre? This is a political vendetta. The BJP only has muscle power.”

She added, “The police have roughed up the members, even the female members. Four female MPs and one female MLA besides a state minister and our party’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha – all of them were subjected to this uncalled-for behaviour.”

The Assam DGP had said the TMC leaders were stopped from entering Silchar as authorities feared their arrival would “create differences among the people.”

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