Assam: NRC protests tense after police detain TMC-team at airportLast updated on Aug 02, 2018, 04:40 pm
Protests over NRC in Assam turned tense as police refused to let a TMC delegation from West Bengal (WB) leave the Silchar airport.
The team had arrived in the state to take stock of the situation after publication of the NRC draft, which left out 40L applicants.
TMC, WB's ruling party, has alleged targeted profiling by the BJP governments at the Centre and state.
What is the NRC?
The first National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was prepared in 1951 to weed out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants; recently, it was updated for the first time.
Applications opened in May'15. Individuals had to prove links with family members having their name in the original NRC, or in electoral rolls till March 25, 1971.
Applications were received from 68.27L families across the state.
40L left out, but can file claims and objections
After months of delay, the Assam government published the complete NRC draft on July 30 with 2.9cr names.
Around 40L applicants haven't found place in the list.
Officials have asserted that this is only a draft, and no action would be taken based on it.
Those who have been left out can file claims or objections, depending on their status, till September end.
It's just vote politics by BJP: Mamata Banerjee
Despite the assurances, WB CM Mamata Banerjee slammed the Assam government and accused it of playing divide and rule policy.
The TMC leader asserted the Centre wanted to deliberately throw Bengali-speaking people and those from Bihar out.
"Consequences will be felt in our state also," she said, asking, "Where will the 40L people whose names have been deleted go?"
As TMC team detained, hundreds protest outside airport
Following its stand, the party sent an eight-member team to Silchar, which included MPs Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Ratna De Nag, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Nadimul Haque, Mamata Thakur and Arpita Ghosh, and MLAs Mohua Moitra and Firhad Hakim.
But they were detained at the airport.
The administration has also imposed prohibitory orders.
Meanwhile, hundreds of TMC supporters shouted anti-government slogans outside the airport.
Visuals from the spot
Lost chance for CM Sarbananda Sonowal?
Responding to the development, TMC MP Derek O'Brien said, "This is a 'super emergency'-like situation. It is our democratic right to meet people."
According to Assam Congress legislator Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, the move might have backfired. "This was our chance to tell TMC that whatever they have been saying about NRC is wrong," he said.
"We could have shown them that there is absolute peace after NRC publication."
BJP-TMC war likely to move to Kolkata next week
The BJP-TMC spar is set to get nastier, with BJP Chief Amit Shah addressing a rally in Kolkata on August 11.
He is expected to make demands for an NRC-like register in WB too.
The war has already started: the state government asserted police hadn't given permission for his rally.
Shah, in response, dared the Banerjee-led government to arrest him.
Police later clarified permission had been granted.