The Assam Directorate General of Police Thursday alleged two constables were assaulted at Silchar Airport in Guwahati by Trinamool Congress MLA Mahua Moitra. The incident took place when an eight-member delegation of the TMC, visiting the city to participate in a convention against the recently-released draft National Register of Citizenship (NRC), was stopped at the airport by authorities.
The party, denying allegations, claimed its members were ‘roughed up’ and ‘heckled’. Moitra told,“They restrained us without any reason and wouldn’t let us move. They manhandled us.”
Lok Sabha MP Arpita Ghosh told, “They said we are under arrest and have to come with them. We told them that we will not leave the airport unless they show us arrest warrants. They were not able to show us any.” Members also claimed the police snatched their phones.An MP cannot be arrested while Parliament is in session unless authorities by the presiding officer of the House of which s/he is a member.
In a statement, the Assam DGP said the TMC delegation was requested not to come to Silchar as authorities feared their arrival would “create differences among the people.” The DGP added, “Legal action will be initiated on the basis of FIRs by the injured and for violation of Section 144 (in Cachar district).
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, blamed the BJP for the incident. “A parliamentary delegation went to meet the people (in Assam). They were not allowed outside the airport. Why is the Assam government behaving like this, along with the Centre? This is a political vendetta. The BJP only has muscle power.”
“The police have roughed up the members, even the female members. Four female MPs and one female MLA besides a state minister and our party’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha – all of them were subjected to this uncalled-for behaviour,” she added.