TMC leaders want to foment unrest in Assam: Bengal BJP

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Kolkata : West Bengal BJP leaders on Thursday accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegation of going to Assam to foment trouble over the issue of the NRC and supported the role of the Assam Police in detaining the delegation at the Kumbhirgram Airport in Silchar.

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

Some of the members of the Trinamool team, including the party's women leaders Arpita Ghosh, Mahua Moitra, Mamata Bala Thakur and Kakali Ghosh Gastidar, received injuries as the standoff between the delegation and the police led to a scuffle inside the airport, a member of the delegation said.

Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Dilip Ghosh claimed that the Trinamool delegation went to Assam to provoke tension in the region and possibly to fuel a "civil war" on the lines of their party supremo Mamata Banerjee's comments.

"No one asked them to go to Assam. Why did they go there? Their party chief Mamata Banerjee said a civil war will start in Assam over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list but Assam has been peaceful so far. May be the Trinamool team went there to start a civil war," Ghosh alleged.

He refuted the Trinamool leaders' claims of being manhandled by the Assam Police and supported their detention at the airport, saying Bengal's ruling party is being given a dose of its own medicine.

"No one has been beaten up. Police did the right thing by detaining them at the airport. All of them should be sent straight back to Kolkata," he said.

"The party that did not let the West Bengal Governor visit Asansol after communal clashes erupted there, those who stopped me and my fellow BJP MPs from going to Bengal's Dhulagarh after the unrest... how can they expect that they will be allowed to move freely anywhere and say anything?" he questioned.

Supporting Ghosh, the national secretary of the saffron outfit, Rahul Sinha said the members of the Trinamool delegation should be thrown out of Assam.

"The publishing of NRC has been done under the direction of the Supreme Court. It is confirmed that the infiltrators there would be driven away and the refugees will be kept in Assam with proper respect. The Central government is quite clear on this. They (Trinamool leaders) have gone there to instigate riots on the basis of language and race. They should be thrown out," Sinha added.

The TMC, particularly West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has 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.

Banerjee also stated that the NRC will lead to a civil war in Assam and appealed to the government to stop it immediately.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has warned against making provocative statements about the NRC and said that outsiders making such statements will not be accepted.