A three-member parliamentary delegation of the Trinamool Congress headed by party leader Derek O’ Brien, was stopped by Varanasi police at the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Babatpur on Saturday morning, ahead of their visit to BHU Trauma Centre to meet the injured in the Sonbhadra violence.
Following their visit to the hospital, they were expected to go to Sonbhadra, where caste violence had erupted on Wednesday killing 10 people.
Derek O’ Brien posted a video on Twitter stating that he along with two of his party colleagues, Sunil Mondal, Abhir Ranjan Biswas have been detained by the police at the Varanasi airport. The team also argued that they were not violating Section 144 imposed as it prohibits the assembly of four or more people.
“We told them we cannot be detained under section 144 as we are only three. Our intention is we wish to head to the BHU trauma centre to meet the injured and then to Sonbhadra, ” he said in the video.
Meanwhile, the TMC delegation has sat on a “dharna” at the Varanasi airport, where they were stopped from proceeding to Sonbhadra.
Earlier, the TMC in its tweet quoted Brien as saying: “Trinamool Parliamentary delegation detained at Varanasi airport. The ADM, SP have not told us under which section. (“Doing as told from topmost”). We have told them that we will cooperate, wish to meet injured and then proceed to Sonebhadra to meet and give confidence to grieving families.”
Video message from Trinamool delegation who have been detained/arrested (they still haven’t been told why!) at Varanasi airport tarmac. They were on their way to meet the injured in hospital and meet & give confidence to the grieving families in #Sonbhadra
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) July 20, 2019
Also, Congress leaders Deepender Singh Hooda, Mukul Wasnik, Raj Babbar, Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh, Jitin Prasada and Rajeev Shukla were stopped at Varanasi airport by the police. They were also on their way to Sonbhadra to meet the victims of firing case.
Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who is still under detention in UP, met family members of the victims of the caste violence on Saturday. The family members, themselves came to meet the Congress leader at Chunar Guest House.
She claimed that that 15 others, who also wanted to see her, were not being allowed to meet her.
Earlier on Friday, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi was detained in Mirzapur and taken to Chunar guest house. She was also not allowed to go and meet the victims’ families in Sonebhadra.
Gandhi is still under detention as she refused to fill the bail bond, 19 hours after she was driven to a guest house after she insisted on proceeding to Sonbhadra.
Late on Friday, some government officials had arrived at the Chunar guest house to ask the Congress leader to return to Delhi. However, she remained adamant.
At least 10 people, including three women, died and over 24 were injured in a clash between Gond and Gujjar communities over a land dispute in Sonbhadra district on Wednesday.
A total of 29 people including the village chief have been arrested till now in the case. A case has been registered against 78 people.
Meanwhile, a Congress delegation led by Pramod Tiwari met Governor Ram Naik over the Sonbhadra incident earlier on Saturday.