In a dramatic turn of events unfolding late Tuesday evening, Delhi Police forcefully removed a Trinamul Congress contingent of top party leaders, including Abhishek Banerjee, from the Krishi Bhavan premises and subsequently detained the entire group, only to be released late at night.
Ugly scenes of TMC leaders like Mahua Moitra being dragged away by her arms and legs and her colleague in Parliament, Santanu Sen, being removed by his collar were also seen on Live TV cameras.
Senior Parliamentarian Saugata Roy was witnessed being pushed inside a police vehicle by a Delhi Police personnel.
Abhishek Banerjee being removed by his arm from Krishi Bhavan/ Sourced by The Telegraph Online
Banerjee was also seen resisting the police's effort to grab him by his arms and remove him from his dharna spot inside the Krishi Bhavan premises. Banerjee was flanked by MP Dola Sen and Bengal minister Birbaha Hansda who were seen making unsuccessful attempts to ward off the police.
Several leaders complained of their phones being seized by the police. The party also alleged that the affected beneficiaries who formed part of the contingent were equally manhandled.
The entire TMC delegation was detained and taken to the Delhi Police’s Queensway camp at Utsav Sadan, Mukherjee Nagar where Banerjee was observed raising 'hai hai’ slogans against the Narendra Modi government while entering the premises. The leaders were subsequently released at around 11 pm after they were held at the camp for about 90 minutes.
Emerging from the camp, Banerjee announced the TMC’s plans to march to the Raj Bhavan in Calcutta on Thursday, October 5 with “one lakh TMC workers” as a response to the party’s experience in Delhi. “We will seek an appointment with the Governor who is the representative of the central government in our state. We will take these letters to the Governor, which we couldn’t hand over to the minister today, and seek his response to each and every one of them,” he said.
Banerjee accused the Centre's junior rural development minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti of “escaping from her office back door” and termed the police action “a disgraceful episode in the country’s democratic history”. “I believe the people of Bengal will give a befitting reply to this government which is running a self-styled zamindari over this country,” Banerjee said.
Matters came to a head after the 40-member delegation of the party's Jantar Mantar protest site reached the office of minister Jyoti at 6 pm as per a prefixed appointment to discuss the contentious funds withholding issue. The delegation, comprising a mix of senior party leaders and affected job card holders, was allegedly made to wait for an hour and a half before it was intimated of the minister's inability to meet the team. The team was subsequently told that the minister had already left her office.
In back-to-back videos live streamed on the party’s Facebook page, Banerjee and other leaders kept updating on the developments at Krishi Bhavan before finally announcing their intention to not move from the spot until the minister came back and met them.
“This is proof of the fact that BJP is scared and neither Sadhvi Niranjan nor Giriraj Singh or even JP Nadda or Narendra Modi have answers to the questions we have come here to ask. Can any BJP representative come and meet us, including people like Anurag Thakur who were made to hold press conferences? Shame on them,” Banerjee said during the dharna at Krishi Bhavan.
At around 9 pm, nearly two hours into the dharna, the large number of Delhi Police personnel present on the premises applied force to clear the area of the protesting Trinamul leaders leading to nasty scenes of coercion and resistance followed by detention of the leaders.