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Trinamool MPs created unruly situation at Silchar airport, says Rajnath Singh

Home minister Rajnath Singh said the MPs had been detained in view of intelligence inputs received by the Assam government, but were extended all courtesies.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2018 14:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Trinamool Congress,Rajnath Singh,TMC MPs
Since prohibitory orders had been enforced in Assam, Rajnath Singh said state officials had “requested” Trinamool MPs to return from the airport itself.(PTI)

Home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders of creating an “unruly situation” at the Silchar airport and insisted that they had been detained in view of intelligence inputs received by the Assam government.

“The government of Assam had some information and based on intelligence inputs... In view of the prevailing law and order situation and so the situation does not deteriorate, Trinamool MPs were detained at the Silchar airport,” Singh told the Lok Sabha.

Since prohibitory orders had been enforced in Assam, he said state officials had “requested” Trinamool MPs to return from the airport itself.

Six Trinamool Congress MPs -- Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Arpita Ghosh, Mamata Thakur, Ratna De Nag, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray and Nadimul Haque -- were detained at the Silchar airport on Thursday while attempting to visit Assam following the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that excluded four million residents.

The home minister maintained that the MPs were extended all courtesies, and since there was no return flight to Kolkata or Delhi from Silchar, the MPs spent the night at the airport guest house.

“The kind of respect that should be shown to a public representative, similar respect was shown to Trinamool MPs. With folded hands the district magistrate requested them to return. But without paying heed to the request, the MPs got into shoving in which two women security personnel also got hurt,” he said.

The Trinamool leaders had earlier alleged that the detention and “manhandling” of their party colleagues at the Silchar airport showed there was an “undeclared emergency” in the country.

Trinamool Congress member Kalyan Banerjee said citizens of India have right to move around anywhere in the country and these MPs had categorically assured the state government officials at the Silchar airport that they will not hold any public meeting.

Banerjee asked the government if it was “nervous” because of the united force of the Opposition in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.

“Parliamentarians have been deprived of the right to assess the situation arising in the country. There was no injunction or interim order passed by the Supreme Court that political meetings cannot be held in Assam,” he said.

Bijoya Chakravarty of the BJP accused the Congress of putting the NRC in cold storage and alleged that Trinamool MPs went to Assam only to “create tension” and “violence” in the state.

“Nothing can be more dangerous than West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement that there will be bloodshed and civil war in Assam,” she said.

Earlier, the Trinamool MPs disrupted proceedings in the Lok Sabha over the issue, prompting Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the House for 10 minutes during question hour.

Dissatisfied with the home minister’s statement, TMC members later said their party plans to intensify the protests against the NRC in Assam.

First Published: Aug 03, 2018 23:17 IST