TMC says party MPs detained in Assam, raises issue in LS

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New Delhi/Guwahati, Aug 2 (IANS) Trinamool Congress (TMC) member Saugata Roy on Thursday said a delegation of party leaders, including MPs, which was on its way to Assam to assess the situation after release of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), was “detained” at Silchar airport.

Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha, Roy said the issue pertained to the rights of the members, as it was a breach of their privilege. He was supported by other Trinamool Congress members.

Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, who was in the chair, said that he would convey their sentiments to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Roy later said that the “freedom of MPs has been eroded by Assam government” and that he would give a privilege notice on the issue.

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The party also issued a statement saying the delegation comprising six MPs, one state Minister and one MLA was “illegally detained” at the Silichar airport and termed it “super emergency”.

“They had not gone there to break law. Yet they were beaten up. Senior MPs were pushed and shoved. Female MPs were manhandled. Is this democracy?” the statement said.

Earlier in the day, the TMC delegation was prevented at Kumbhirgram Airport in Silchar by the district administration from going out of the airport and interacting with the people.

The delegation was confined to a room at the airport on the ground that Section 144 Cr.PC was in force in the entire Cachar district.

“We were supposed to interact with some people in Silchar. However, when we landed, the district administration and police officials stopped us from getting out of the airport and later were confined to a room,” said a TMC member who was a part of the delegation.

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The TMC delegation reportedly told the administration that they would go out in four groups of two persons each, which will not violate Section 144, but the district administration officials refused.

The Assam government published the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) on July 30 which included names of 2.89 crore people but kept over 40 lakh people out of the document due to some discrepancies.

Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government on the NRC list and alleged that it was “a global issue and not just an issue of Assam or India”.

–IANS

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