TMC delegation on way to meet Sonbhadra victims’ families detained


PTI, Jul 20, 2019, 11:36 AM IST

Varanasi: A TMC delegation was detained at the airport here on Saturday when it was going to meet families of victims of the Sonbhadra clash in which 10 people were gunned down this week over a land dispute, party MP Derek O’Brien said.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) team comprises O’Brien, MP and leader of the delegation Sunil Mondal and MP Abir Ranjan Biswas.

The detention of the team comes a day after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained and stopped in Mirzapaur district from going to Sonbhadra to meet those injured in the incident and the victims’ families.

“Trinamool Parliamentary delegation detained at Varanasi airport. 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 & then proceed to Sonbhadra to meet & give confidence to grieving families (sic),” O’Brien tweeted.

“We were stopped by police at the Varanasi airport while we were going to Sonbhadra to meet the victims. There is no violation of Section144 as we are less in number,” he said.

The delegation arrived in Varanasi to meet the injured at the hospital here and then proceed to Sonbhadra to meet and give confidence to the grieving families, O’Brien said.

The TMC delegation was scheduled to return by an evening flight after their visit to Sonbhadra.

The party had announced Friday that a team of its MPs will visit on Saturday the families of the Sonbhadra clash victims in Uttar Pradesh.

The decision assumes significance due to the intensified political bickering and violence between the TMC and the BJP since the Lok Sabha elections in which the saffron party made significant inroads in West Bengal.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee had attacked each other during the election campaign in the eastern state.

The BJP has emerged as the main opponent of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal ever since the saffron party won 18 of the 42 seats in the state in this Lok Sabha polls up from two seats it had won in 2014.

Ten people were killed and 28 injured in the clash between supporters of village head Yagya Dutt and Gond tribals over a piece of land in Sonbhadra’s Ghorawal area on Wednesday. Dutt’s supporters allegedly opened fire on the tribals.

Twenty-nine people, including Dutt and his brother, were arrested. Prohibitory orders are in force in Ghorawal area in Sonbhadra district and thorough checking of vehicles is on to monitor the movement of people.

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