New Delhi, Aug 4: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) will on Saturday observe ‘Black Day’ in West Bengal to protest against the Assam NRC final draft, which excluded nearly 40 lakh people in the state, and the manhandling of the TMC leaders at the Silchar airport. Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said that the TMC leaders will hold Black Day in every block and district of the state.

“We condemn the way the public representatives were manhandled and detained by the Assam police at the Silchar airport. They being MPs had every right to visit a place, but all rules were violated and our party delegation was stopped. This is shameful,” he said, adding, “The way our MPs were stopped only proves that the BJP is trying to hide something. We will fight till the end and expose them.”

On August 2, a TMC delegation was prevented by the district administration from going out of the Silchar airport and interacting with the people as soon as it arrived in the state. “We were supposed to interact with some people in Silchar. However, when we landed, the district administration and police officials stopped us from getting out of the airport and later were confined to a room,” a TMC member who was a part of the delegation told media.

Following the detention of the TMC leaders at the Silchar airport, the party created an uproar in the Lok Sabha, over the issue, shortly after its proceedings began. The protest was led by TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee, who moved a privilege motion over the issue. Union Minister Rajnath Singh, however, told the Lok Sabha that the leaders were detained to maintain law and order in Assam.

“On the basis of intelligence inputs, considering the law and order situation and to avoid any deteriorating condition, the Assam government detained the honourable (delegation) members who reached Silchar airport. As per my information, the district officials there requested the TMC members with folded hands that Section 144 of CrPC was in force in the entire district and it would not be good for them to go outside. Then, they were detained at the airport,” he said.

The Union Minister also made a veiled attack at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee saying that “some are trying to create an atmosphere of fear”. Trying to dissipate the fear of deportation and detention of the 40 lakh people, who have been excluded from the list, the Home Minister condemned the alleged attempts by the political parties to disturb communal harmony in the state.