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Six Trinamool Congress leaders leave Assam after overnight detention

Silchar: A day after eight Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders were detained at Assam’s Silchar Airport, six of them left Assam , an official said. The two other leaders — MPs Mamatabala Thakur and Arpita Ghosh — would leave the state later in the day, Cachar district Deputy Commissioner S Lakshmanan said.
TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said that the other 77 passengers in the same aircraft were allowed to move out but only they were not allowed. He added that they had to cancel their public meeting. “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,” he said.
Besides Roy, MPs Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Ratna De Nag and Nadimul Haque, West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim and MLA Mohua Maitra were in the delegation.
Six TMC MPs and two MLAs were detained at the Sichar airport in Assam. The party members had alleged that they were manhandled at the airport. The Trinamool Congress delegation reached Assam on Thursday to assess the situation in the state in the wake of the publication of the complete draft of the NRC.
The police have claimed that the delegation of TMC members was detained as a precautionary measure as Section 144 is in place. However, TMC claimed that they did not know that Section 144 was not in force and that they had no intentions of breaking the law and order.
Lashing out at the Centre, TMC leader Derek O Brien called it an Emergency-like situation. “Our delegation was detained at Silchar airport. It is our democratic right to meet people, this is a super emergency like situation,” he said.
TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, who is a member of the delegation, said that the police stopped them at the airport on their arrival saying their visit might create trouble.
The TMC delegation including six MPs was kept in the VIP lounge of Kumbhigram airport in Cachar district under Barak Valley region, a PTI report said. The Cachar district administration had on Wednesday night issued a prohibitory order under Section 144 of the CrPC and banned entry of any person not involved with the NRC process in the district.
The TMC team is visiting the state at the instruction of party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Banerjee has been accusing the BJP-led central government of resorting to “vote-bank politics” on the NRC issue and saying that “Indian citizens have become refugees” in their own land.