Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said members of a delegation from Trinamool Congress party, including elected MPs were detained in Silchar airport in Assam on Thursday to maintain "law and order and prevent things from escalating".
Making a brief intervention during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha after AITC member Kalyan Banerjee raised the issue, the Home Minister said deputy commissioner and other state government officials followed the 'established protocol' and requested the delegation leaders, including MPs "with folded hands" not to move out of the airport.
"The officials told the visiting delegation that prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC were imposed and thus they should not move out of the airport," Mr Singh said. Earlier, Trinamool MP Kalyan Banerjee said the team had gone to Silchar, a Bengali dominated region in Barak Valley of Assam, to make an on the spot assessment of the situation arising out of the publication of draft National Register of Citizens and their 'detention' was matter of privilege as the team also comprised elected MPs.
"We depreciate the conduct of the Assam police," Mr Banerjee alleged. He said Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Mamata Thakur, Arpita Ghosh and Ratna De Nag - all Lok Sabha MPs and two members of Rajya Sabha were detained.
The Home Minister said, "But Trinamool leaders did not agree to the request of the officials and insisted on moving out of the airport. There was scuffle and even two female security staff were injured".
The passengers also complained against the conduct of Trinamool leaders and the chaos at the airport, Home Minister said, adding later the delegation leaders were taken to a guest house and asked to make night halt as per the protocol.
The visiting Trinamool leaders were on Friday morning put on a flight to Kolkata and Delhi.Mr Singh also said things were handled with sensitivity. (UNI)