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TMC Refuses to Bow Down, Will Send Another Team to Assam to Assess NRC Impact

The issue also found resonance in Parliament as TMC members raised slogans against the BJP government in the Well of the House for manhandling their leaders and sought a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:August 3, 2018, 5:01 PM IST
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TMC Refuses to Bow Down, Will Send Another Team to Assam to Assess NRC Impact
A photo of the scuffle between TMC lawmaker Mahua Moitra and Assam Police tweeted by Derek O'Brien.
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Kolkata: A day after a Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegation was allegedly manhandled at the Silchar Airport, the party has decided to keep up the pressure on the government over the exclusion of 40 lakh people from the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

The TMC on Friday decided that it would send another team of senior leaders to assess the ground reality in the state after the publication of the NRC draft.

Speaking to News18 over phone from Assam, TMC’s minority president Arif Sikdar said, “Yes, senior party leaders from Kolkata will once again visit Assam. There will be a meeting in Kolkata on Saturday during which the next date of their visit will be decided.”

He said, “Whatever happened with the delegation at Silchar airport was very unfortunate. This time, I think they will consult the home ministry before coming to Assam to avoid any crisis. They are elected representatives and have every right to go anywhere to stand by the people.”

State municipal affairs and urban development minister Firhad Hakim, who led the six-member delegation to Silchar, confirmed to a section of the media that TMC leaders would visit Assam again after consulting their party chief Mamata Banerjee.

The NRC issue also found resonance in Parliament as TMC members raised slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the Well of the House for manhandling their leaders and sought a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.

Clarifying the government’s stance, home minister Rajnath Singh said, “On August 2, TMC leaders were received at Silchar airport with full protocol. They were asked to go back but the delegation engaged in an argument during which two women security personnel were injured. It causes convenience to some passengers too.”

The team of TMC MPs, MLAs and ministers, who went to campaign against the exclusion of people from the NRC draft, was allegedly manhandled by Assam Police on Thursday.

TMC MP Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who was a part of the delegation, had said, “The moment we landed at Silchar Airport, we were surrounded by policemen. We were not allowed to come out as they said Section 144 was imposed in the area. When we asked for justified documents, they were unable to show anything. The police chased and beat me and my colleagues Mohua Moitra, MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray and others.”

The delegation spent the night at the airport and returned to Kolkata on Friday morning, while two MPs went to Delhi. “They pushed us back like illegal immigrants. We condemn the act of the Assam government,” MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said.

Mamata Banerjee had warned the BJP to stay away from communal politics and dubbed the Silchar incident as “super emergency”.

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