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TMC team meets Tinsukia victims’ kin, wants to produce them before President Ram Nath Kovind

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Published: November 4, 2018 10:49:55 PM

A four-member Trinamool Congress delegation Sunday met the family members of the five Bengali-speaking men who were killed by suspected militants in the district, and demanded that the perpetrators of "the hate crime" be immediately brought to book.

The Assam government welcomed the TMC delegation and asked them to refrain from making any provocative statement which could vitiate the atmosphere in the state. (ANI)

A four-member Trinamool Congress delegation Sunday met the family members of the five Bengali-speaking men who were killed by suspected militants in the district, and demanded that the perpetrators of “the hate crime” be immediately brought to book. The TMC leadership also decided to take those family members to President Ram Nath Kovind to get them justice. The Assam government welcomed the TMC delegation, which was led by TMC parliamentary party leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien, and asked them to refrain from making any provocative statement which could vitiate the atmosphere in the state.

The other members of the delegation were Lok Sabha MP Mamata Bala Thakur, Rajya Sabha MP Nadimul Haq and MLA Mahua Moitra. “It is a sad day. I am at a loss of words. But in all sadness, it needs to be heard… To find out who is behind this (the killings), we will do whatever it takes in Assam, in Bengal, in the country and in Parliament,” O’Brien said.

Assam BJP MLA Bolin Chetia accompanied the TMC team to the homes of the victims in Kheronibari village of Dhola area. “We will do whatever it takes to find the perpetrators and whoever is responsible for this. We will go to the bottom of this,” O’Brien told reporters after meeting the victims’ families. Such incidents are happening across the country and the killings are an outcome of the divisive politics of the BJP-led Centre, he said.

Wondering who is benefiting from these incidents, O’Brien said, “There is more than what meets the eye according to the stories that I am hearing from families and locals.” He said the ruling party of West Bengal would keep fighting on behalf of the victims’ families so that at least they come to know who were behind this crime.

According to TMC sources, the party has given Rs 1 lakh to each family as aid. “A delegation comprising members of the five bereaved families and Trinamool leaders to meet the Honourable President. Appointment has been sought from Rashtrapati Bhawan,” TMC said on its official Twitter handle. Unidentified gunmen in battle fatigues shot dead five Bengali-speaking people, including three members of a family, near Kheronibari village on Thursday night.

“We want justice for these families and will not stop our fight until the perpetrators of the hate crime are punished,” O’Brien said. Earlier in the day, welcoming the TMC delegation, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to the Trinamool leaders to refrain from making any “provocative statement”. “We welcome the TMC team to visit the victims of the terrorist attack. Our only request to them is please do not give any provocative statement, which will vitiate the atmosphere of Assam,” he told reporters in Guwhati.

O’Brien said the most deprived and poorest Indian citizens were murdered in cold blood. “This is a humanitarian visit. This is a visit to stand with grieving families. “Our chief Mamata Banerjee has given us some directions. These people are Bengalis. They are the poorest. They are Hindus,” he had said after landing in Assam. On Friday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed anguish over the killings and said an “environment of violence” was prevailing in the country.

On August 2, another TMC delegation of six MPs had gone to Bengali-majority Silchar to assess the situation there after the publication of the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on July 30, but was stopped at the airport. They were not allowed to leave the airport and were sent back the next day.

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