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A hate crime, says TMC delegation on Tinsukia killings; announces compensation

The Trinamool delegation told the relatives of the five victims that the Bengal government will give a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to each family.

india Updated: Nov 04, 2018 21:19 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Tinsukia/Kolkata
Tinsukia killings,Tinsukia,TMC delegation
Trinamool Congress leaders MP Derek O'Brien and Mamata Bala Thakur meet the family members of those who were killed by suspected ULFA militants, at Dhola in Tinsukia district on November 4, 2018. (PTI Photo)

It is a hate crime and there’s more to the incident than what meets the eye, a Trinamool Congress delegation said as they visited Bisonimukh village in Assam’s Tinsukia district Sunday to meet families of five men of the Bengali-speaking community who were gunned down by suspected ULFA (I) ultras on Thursday.

“There is a hand of hate,” said Derek O’Brien, Rajya Sabha MP who was part of the delegation, which also comprised of MPs Mamta Balathakur and Nadimul Haque and MLA Mahua Moitra.

“This is a hate crime…We have come here to be with the families. We will get to the bottom of it. We will do whatever it takes to find out who has committed this crime, in Assam, in West Bengal, around the country and in the Parliament,” he said.

Brien said the party could press for a court monitored probe. “It is a bad situation,” he said during the more than 90 minute long stay in the village. Many family members of the victims broke down during the delegation’s visit.

“From the stories we have heard here today, there is more to it than what meets the eye. This is not so cut and dry. Who benefits from this crime?” he asked.

“In Gujarat, Biharis are being thrown out. In Assam, our Bengali brothers are being targeted. They are Indian citizens…,” Brien said, in an attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party which rules both states.

He said the delegation was not visiting to do politics on the issue but to stand with the victims.

The Trinamool delegation told the relatives of the five victims that the Bengal government will give a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to each family.

“We conveyed the message of chief minister Mamata Banerjee to the affected families,” said Mamata Thakur.

In a Twitter message, Trinamool said a delegation comprising party leaders and kin of the Tinsukia victims will meet President Ram Nath Kovind.

Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee alleged that the massacre was the fallout of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam. “NRC was a conspiracy against Bengalis living in Assam. They are being murdered now. Trinamool will fight this till the end,” Chatterjee said.

The BJP attacked the Trinamool Congress over their allegations.

“Trinamool should see the situation in their own state. Assam is far better. In West Bengal, hundreds of workers are being targeted and killed by the ruling party,” said Dilip Saikia, general secretary of the state BJP, adding the attack was carried out by insurgents.

“The Trinamool is fishing in troubled waters. On one hand, they are opposing Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which would help citizenship to minorities including Bengali Hindus as part of their politics of appeasement and on the other hand, they have come to Assam to shed crocodile tears over this unfortunate incident,” he added.

(With additional inputs from Kolkata bureau)

First Published: Nov 04, 2018 21:18 IST