TMC leaders end stir, political row continues amid Lok Sabha polls | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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TMC leaders end stir, political row continues amid Lok Sabha polls

By, New Delhi
Apr 10, 2024 12:56 AM IST

The TMC slammed the Delhi Police over the detention even as the latter said the protesting leaders were released within hours of being held.

A 10-member Trinamool Congress (TMC) team that was detained for staging a dharna outside the Election Commission’s (EC) office in Delhi on Monday, camped overnight and concluded their agitation at the police station a day later, even as they were released within hours of being held.

Delhi minister Saurabh Bhardwaj (left) interacts with TMC leaders during the latter’s stir at Mandir Marg police station. (Arvind Yadav/HT)
Delhi minister Saurabh Bhardwaj (left) interacts with TMC leaders during the latter’s stir at Mandir Marg police station. (Arvind Yadav/HT)

Read here: TMC delegation continues protest in Delhi; ‘denied entry’, claim AAP leaders

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The team, which included TMC lawmakers Derek O’Brien, Dola Sen and Mohammed Nadimul Haque, raised slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre as they staged a protest at Mandir Marg police station in the national capital. While all TMC leaders sat inside the police station premises, Haque and MP Sagarika Ghose, who had gone out briefly, were not allowed to re-enter. They sat on a dharna outside the boundary of the building.

The TMC slammed the Delhi Police over the detention even as the latter said the protesting leaders were released within hours of being held but they chose to continue with their agitation.

“The police told us at 12.30am that we are free to go but I want to ask how they managed to detain the three women in our team after sunset and under what provisions of the law. We were not put through any paperwork. Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Police is also made of lies,” Sen said.

Delhi Police deputy commissioner Devesh Kumar Mahla said the TMC leaders were detained as they did not have the permission to stage a protest outside the EC office on Monday. “They were taken to Mandir Marg police station but released later. They were asked to leave before sunset but they chose to sit there and protest,” he said.

On Monday, the TMC group, which also comprised MP Saket Gokhale, MLA Vivek Gupta, former MPs Arpita Ghosh, Santanu Sen and Abir Ranjan Biswas and state vice-president Sudip Raha, complained to the EC about the “blatant misuse” of central probe agencies by the Centre against leaders of opposition parties ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The group also urged the commission to replace chiefs of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax (I-T) Department, and ensure a “level-playing field for all political parties” in the general elections. They also began a 24-hour protest outside the EC office after meeting concerned officials, before a team of Delhi Police arrived and took them to Mandir Marg police station in a bus.

“We were staging a peaceful protest when the police arrived and detained us. We were released later but as promised, we completed our 24-hour protest,” Sen said.

O’Brien said the detention reflected the “dictatorial rule of Modi” but the TMC will not “back down in asking for their constitutional rights”.

Leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is an ally of the TMC as part of the INDIA bloc, tried to meet the TMC leaders at the police station but were denied entry into the premises. AAP leaders Saurabh Bhardwaj and Dilip Pandey later interacted with the TMC leaders through the gate of the police station.

Read here: NIA moves Calcutta HC against FIR filed by Bengal police; TMC holds protests

“Their (TMC) demand is that the chiefs of the four central probe agencies should be changed. The BJP did a demonstration at Connaught Place but who gave them the permission for it. They were not arrested,” Bhardwaj said.

BJP leader Rahul Sinha said the TMC is trying to divert attention from real poll issues. “If they have any grievances, they can move the court. What are they doing outside the EC office,” he said.

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