A three-member parliamentary delegation of the Trinamool Congress headed by party leader Derek O’ Brien on Saturday met the people who were injured during the shootout in Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra at the BHU Trauma Centre. However, they were not given permission to visit the district. Earlier in the day, they were detained at the Varanasi airport while on their way to meet the families of the victims.
Ten people from the Gond community were killed in a shootout on Wednesday over a land dispute in Sonabhadra district. As many as 28 others were reportedly injured in the clash when Ubha village head Yagya Dutt went to take possession of the land that he had purchased two years ago. Dutt and his supporters allegedly opened fire on the victims.
“Trinamool MPs deleg [delegation] met senior medical team at trauma centre,” the All India Trinamool Congress said on Twitter. “Met families of those injured in Sonbhadra Massacre. 4 young men/ 2 women. 1 lady critical with skull injuries. UP govt has denied us permission to visit village. Dharna will continue at Varanasi airport.”
In a video posted on Twitter, O’ Brien said that he along with two of his party colleagues, Sunil Mondal, Abhir Ranjan Biswas, have been detained at Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Babatpur.
Sonbhadra District Magistrate Ankit Aggarwal told ANI that Section 144 has been imposed in the district as the situation was very sensitive. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code prohibits the Assembly of four or more persons.
“We told them we cannot be detained under Section 144 as we are only three,” said O’ Brien. “So, our intention is that we wish to proceed to the BHU trauma centre to meet the injured and then the spot at Sonbhadra.” The TMC delegation sat on a dharna at the Varanasi airport.
In another tweet, the Trinamool Congress leader said: “Trinamool Parliamentary delegation detained at Varanasi airport. ADM [Additional District Magistrate], SP [Superintendent of Police] 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,” he added.
The TMC delegation was scheduled to return by an evening flight after their visit to Sonbhadra, PTI reported.
The TMC delegation was detained a day after Congress General Secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained in Mirzapaur district from going to Sonbhadra. She met two relatives of the victims of the shootout on Saturday morning. Gandhi had spent the night sitting on a dharna at a guest house in Mirzapur.
Twenty-nine people, including Dutt and his brother, have been arrested, ANI reported quoting Sonbhadra District Magistrate Ankit Aggarwal. Prohibitory orders were in force in Ghorawal area in Sonbhadra district and authorities were doing a thorough check of vehicles to monitor the movement of people.