Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress leaders were allegedly stopped, beaten up and arrested on Thursday at the airport in Assam’s Silchar, where they were planning to campaign against National Register of Citizens (NRC), which leaves out names of nearly 40 lakh people and plans to crackdown on illegal immigrants from Bangladesh
The eight-member team of legislators and parliamentarians that landed at Silchar airport at around 2 pm to attend a citizen’s convention in the city protested at the arrival lounge for hours before being arrested, according to the Trinamool Congress.
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 Sukhendu Shekhar Ray, who said he was a heart patient.
“Policemen also snatched our cellphones, thrashed us,” Ghosh Dastidar, Lok Sabha MP from Barasat, said.
“Think this is beginning of the end. They are frustrated, they are political tensed and depressed. And that’s why they are showing muscle power,” said West Banegal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been attacking the government of the Assam citizen list.
Condemning the incident, Party MP Derek O Brien said, “It is our democratic right to meet people, this is a super emergency like situation.”
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.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, alleged that the delegation went to Silchar 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.
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.
“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.
Mamata banerjee and her party leaders have aggressively campaigned against the citizens’ list or National Register of Citizens for Assam, which was meant to be an exercise in identifying illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.