TMC delegation detained at Varanasi airport ahead of Sonbhadra visit

The TMC delegation at Varanasi airport. (ANI)

A team of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs on Saturday was detained at Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Babatpur after they arrived to meet the families of the Sonbhadra clash victims in Uttar Pradesh. The leaders have sat in a dharna outside the airport terminal.

This came a day after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained and stopped from going to Sonbhadra where 10 tribals were gunned down this week during a clash over a land dispute.

In a video message on Twitter, TMC MP Derek O’Brien said, "We just landed at Varanasi airport. My colleague Sunil Mondal and Abir Ranjan Biswas.. The ADM and SP are here. They told us we have been detained. We told them it cannot be Section 144 since only three of us are here. Our intention is that we wish to proceed to the BHU trauma centre to meet the injured and then we wish to go to the spot at Sonbhadra. They are saying we have been detained but we have asked them under what sections."

TMC leaders in Kolkata has termed the detention "undemocratic". "Whatever has happened is undemocratic. Seems like the government there in Uttar Pradesh has implemented undeclared emergency," said a TMC leader.

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi at Chunar guest house on Saturday. (Source: Congress)

Meanwhile, Priyanka, who was detained at Chunar guest house in Mirzapur, continued with her dharna on Saturday. "It has been 24 hours. I am not going to leave until and unless I am allowed to meet the victims of Sonbhadra’s firing case," she was quoted as saying by ANI.

Congress leaders yesterday staged protests in several districts against the police action to stop her from going to Sonbhadra.

Also read | Sonbhadra killings: Before tractors rolled in with guns, pradhan & his men targeted the tillers

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 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. The district administration has also imposed Section 144 of the CrPc to prevent people from assembling in large groups in the area.