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TMC delegation leaves Assam after overnight detention

Besides Roy, MPs Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Ratna De Nag and Nadimul Haque, West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim and MLA Mohua Maitra were in the delegation.

SNS | New Delhi |

After spending a night at Silchar airport, six of the eight-member Trinamool Congress delegation left Assam this morning, an official said. They took a flight back to Kolkata.

Two others — MPs Mamatabala Thakur and Arpita Ghosh — would leave the state later in the day, Cachar district Deputy Commissioner S Lakshmanan said. They are expected to take a flight to Delhi later this afternoon.

“We are going back. The police have not allowed us to go out. We requested them several times but they refused. We spent the night in three rooms at the airport,” Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, who was among the detainees, said.

Besides Roy, MPs Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Ratna De Nag and Nadimul Haque, West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim and MLA Mohua Maitra were in the delegation.

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The delegation including six Members of Parliament and two MLAs, who were confined to a room at the airport on the ground that Section 144 CrPC was in force in the entire Cachar district.

They were sent there by TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to assess the situation in Assam post-NRC.

After they landed at the airport Thursday afternoon, they were stopped and taken under preventive detention.

The TMC delegation had planned to go out in four groups of two persons each, which will not violate Section 144 CrPC, but the district administration officials refused.

Some of the members of the TMC team, including some women, received injuries as the stand-off between the delegation and the police led to a scuffle inside the airport.

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The Assam government published the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) on July 30 which included the names of 2.89 crore people but kept over 40 lakh people out of the document due to some discrepancies.

The TMC, particularly West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, have been very critical about the NRC updation process in Assam and accused the BJP-led governments in Delhi and Dispur of hatching a conspiracy to drive out Bengalis and Muslims from Assam.

(With agency inputs)