West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that BJP delegation visited violence-hit Bhatpara in the state but stopped a TMC delegation from visiting Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra where firing took place over a land dispute earlier this week.
Mamata also came out in support of Congress general secretary in-charge for eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, saying she did nothing wrong by visiting Sonbhadra.
“The BJP sent its delegation to Bengal when communal riots took place here. They didn’t listen to us and entered the affected places. But today, when our leaders went to Sonbhadra, they were stopped. I believe BJP should follow the same rule. What Priyanka did was not wrong. She had only two-three people with her. Even my delegation from TMC had Derek and two more people. Even we allowed them (BJP leaders) in Bhatpara,” the TMC chief said.
Claiming that the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh is bad, Banerjee added, ” More than 1000 people have been killed there in the encounter. People get lynched. I believe things should be looked into. We condemn the atrocities against the Dalits as they are being tortured. If someone wants to raise voice for them, then they should be allowed.”
Earlier in the day, TMC leader Derek O’ Brien had released a video message alleging that the team was not being allowed to step out of the airport. “We just landed at Varanasi airport. The ADM and SP are here. They told us that we have been detained. We told them it cannot be 144 because there are only three of us. We told them we intend to visit the trauma centre to meet the injured and then we wish to go to the spot of the incident,” he said in the video.
The TMC delegation sat down on the floor and began a dharna at the Babatpur (Varanasi) airport after being stopped by the police.
However, the three-member delegation of TMC lawmakers was later allowed by the administration to come out of the airport and leave for the hospital where those injured in Sonbhadra firing incident are admitted.
The Sonbhadra firing took place at Ubbha village of Ghorawal where the village head went to take possession of his land purchased two years ago. However, he met with opposition from the villagers, which triggered the firing allegedly by his aides leading to 10 deaths.