Kolkata: Trinamool has announced a 48-hours black-day observation in Bengal in protest against the exclusion of 40-lakh names, mostly Bengalis, from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the stopping of party lawmakers by police at Silchar Airport yesterday.
The announcement on the protest came as the eight-member team of Trinamool MPs, MLAs, and minister were released by Assam police this morning after keeping them under preventive arrest overnight.
While six of the team members flew back to Kolkata by a 7.40 am Air India flight, Lok Sabha MPs Arpita Ghosh and Mamatabala Thakur took an afternoon flight from Silchar that flies to Delhi with a halt at Kolkata.
On landing at Kolkata airport, the leader of the delegation Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said that Assam police have treated them like illegal immigrants.
“In the same fashion as security forces deal with infiltrators, they stopped us at the airport by applying force and then pushed us back. Forget me, they even did not spare our female leaders,” Roy said.
The Trinamool lawmakers spent the night in three rooms at Silchar Airport whose infrastructure is poor than that of a dignified railway station and is some 26-km away from Silchar town.
The Cachar district administration offered them dinner but the Trinamool leaders declined. They ate rotis bought from a shop outside the airport by the private secretary of Bengal minister Firhad Hakim who was in the team.
After they landed in Kolkata, Trinamool secretary general Chatterjee announced that the party will observe black-day all over Bengal on Saturday and Sunday (4-5 August) on the NRC issue. Rallies and meetings will be held throughout the state on those two days.
Chatterjee maintained that of the 40-lakh names excluded from the draft NRC in Assam, some 12-lakh are Hindus. “Not only Bengalis but Biharis and Sikhs too have not found a place in the NRC. This is a demonic (Assam) government not needed anymore,” he said.
Commenting on BJP’s rally in Kolkata yesterday demanding NRC for Bengal, the Trinamool secretary general said: “Those jumping now demanding NRC for Bengal shall have to lament their act in the near future.”