3 member TMC delegation detained at Varanasi airport

A three-member delegation of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) was on Saturday stopped from visiting Sonebhadra district in Uttar Pradesh, where 10 people died in a caste violence on Wednesday.

The TMC said that a delegation comprising party senior leaders, including Derek O’Brien, Sunil Mondal, Abhir Ranjan Biswas, were detained at the Varanasi airport after they deboarded the plane.

The leaders were supposed to meet the injured persons admitted to the Trauma Centre of the Banaras Hindu University and then head to Sonebhadra to meet the victims’ families.

In a video message, Brien said: “We just landed at Varanasi airport, with my colleagues Sunil Mondal and Abir Ranjan Biswas. Now the ADM and SP are here. They have told us that we have been detained… It cannot be under Section 144 as we are only three people here.”

“We wish to proceed to BHU Trauma Centre to meet the injured and then we wish to go to the spot in Sonebhadra. They are saying we have been detained, but under which section?” he said.

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.”

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.

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 Sonebhadra on Wednesday.

The police have arrested 29 people, including the kingpin Yogesh Dutt, in connection with the violence in Sonebhadra. A case has been filed against 78 people.

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