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NRC row | Trinamool Congress to observe black day in Bengal today, tomorrow

To protest against the detention and “manhandling” of its leaders at Silchar airport in Assam; a 6-member TMC delegation wanted to assess the ground reality in Assam’s Cachar district in the wake of the release of final draft of the National Register of Citizens

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) will observe a “black day” throughout the state on 4 and 5 August to protest against the detention and “manhandling” of its leaders at the Silchar airport in Assam, the party’s secretary general said on Friday.

Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said the party would observe “black day” in every block and district of the state on Saturday and Sunday. “We condemn the way the public representatives were manhandled and detained by the Assam police at Silchar airport. As MPs, they had every right to visit a place, but all rules were violated and our party delegation was stopped. This is shameful,” he told reporters in Kolkata.

An eight-member TMC delegation comprising six MPs, an MLA and a state minister was stopped at the Silchar airport on Thursday when its members tried to enter Assam’s Cachar district to assess the ground reality after the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published in the north-eastern state on Monday.

READ | TMC delegation leaves Assam after overnight detention

“The way our MPs were stopped only proves that the BJP is trying to hide something. We will fight till the end and expose them,” Mr Chatterjee said.

The TMC top brass has asked the party’s district units to organise protest rallies in various parts of the state and wear black badges on Saturday and Sunday.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged Thursday that the members of her party’s delegation, including women, were manhandled at the Silchar airport and accused the BJP of imposing a “super emergency” in the country.

Students from different universities including Jadavpur University, Calcutta University and Presidency University gathered together near 8B bus stand today, to protest against the exclusion of 40 lakh people, mostly Bengalis, from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list made public by the Assam government recently.

READ | India is not a dharamshala, says Raman Singh on NRC

The protesting students claimed that the exclusion of 40 lakh people was very unfortunate and inhuman.

Debraj Koley, a senior student from JU, said, “The fascist government has done injustice to lakhs of people who have been an integral part of the state for so many years. The plans had been going on since long which the current fascist government has executed.”

A student of the Arts stream also said, “We are still in shock at the decision. The BJP state president declared that a similar process will take place in West Bengal once the party comes to power in the state.”

He further rued that simultaneously, BJP national president Amit Shah also has highlighted that that none of the governments could do what they have done.

READ | BJP vows to ‘expose’ Mamata Banerjee on NRC row

“The exclusion of 40 lakhs of people also reflects the central government’s agenda of polarisation and communalisation at the national level,” added a third year student.

“The efforts of the BJP government to shape the country on the Gujarat model are firstly inhuman and are also leading the country towards darkness,” he said.

Anushka Paul, student of second year at JU, said that TMCP is protesting the recently declared NRC in Assam as it has a political agenda. Their fight is mainly against BJP. But the student fraternity which gathered today had no such political intentions. It was purely to fight against the injustice done to lakhs of people, she said.