TMC delegation on way to meet Sonbhadra victims' kin detained, sits on dharna

Varanasi (UP), Jul 20 (PTI) A TMC delegation was detained at the airport here on Saturday when it was going to meet families of the Sonbhadra clash victims, party MP Derek O'Brien said. After being denied permission to proceed, the delegation sat on a dharna at the airport here. Ten people were gunned down and 28 injured in the clash between supporters of a village head and Gond tribals this week over a land dispute. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) team of MPs comprises O'Brien, leader of the delegation, along with Sunil Mondal and Abir Ranjan Biswas. In a tweet, O'Brien said: "After meeting families of those injured, Trinamool delegation stopped from proceeding to #SonbhadraMassacre spot. We shall continue our dharna at Varanasi airport.""The BJP indulges in hooliganism and disrupts 'good governance' every day in Bengal. The same BJP in UP don't allow a delegation of Opposition MPs to even meet, build confidence & comfort grieving families of tribals massacred over land rights," he said.Speaking after meeting the family members of the injured here, O'Brien said, "The team met the injured persons in the BHU Trauma centre. The UP Administration has not given us permission to go to Sonebhadra.""We wanted to meet the families to give them confidence. It is a most unfortunate incident of innocent Dalits , tribals, adivasis being killed in the shootout. It is the murder of democracy," he added. The doctor there said that he has never seen a mass murder like this in his long career, O'Brien said further. The TMC delegation's detention comes a day after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too was detained in Mirzapaur district and prevented from going to Sonbhadra to meet those injured in the incident as well as the victims' families. Soon after they were stopped from proceeding, O'Brien tweeted: "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)." "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 TMC decision to meet the victims and their kin 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 TMC 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 a thorough checking of vehicles is on to monitor the movement of people. PTI CORR SAB RHL