Guwahati/Kolkata: A vicious environment of "aggressive regionalism" is prevailing in the country, said a Trinamool Congress delegation that visited Dhala in Assam's Tinsukia district, where militants gunned down five Bengali Hindus on November 1.
The four-member delegation comprising Rajya Sabha member Derek O'Brien, Lok Sabha MP Mamata Bala Thakur, Rajya Sabha MP Nadimul Haque and MLA Mahua Moitra visited the bereaved families on Sunday.
"The situation is really bad. In Gujarat, Biharis are expelled and in Assam Bengalis are targeted like this," O'Brien told reporters in Dhala.
The TMC delegation also gave some monetary help to the bereaved families. "No amount of compensation will fill the void which the families of the deceased has suffered," he said.
In his social media post, O'Brien said: "Heart wrenching Sunday morning. Trinamool LS MP Mamata Thakur and MLA Mahua Moitra with the grieving mother. One of my saddest days in public life....Emotionally draining day for us. Sad. Sad. Sad."
Mahua Moitra said that since 2014, a vicious atmosphere has been created in the country by subversive forces who have been trying to divide the people in the name of community and religion.
She was alluding to the coming to power of BJP's Narendra Modi at the Centre.
The ruling party in West Bengal had linked the killings to the ongoing exercise of National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.
Earlier in August this year, Trinamool Congress had sent a delegation of party leaders to the neighbouring state over the developments around NRC.
The party delegation was then detained at Silchar airport. However, on Sunday, the Trinamool Congress delegation was provided security by the state government and local BJP MLA Bolin Chetia welcomed the members of the delegation.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that some vested interests are hell bent on creating a rift in the state.
To strengthen the sense of security among the people living in Assam, Sonowal said: "Everybody is safe in Assam, as the government machinery is on its toes round-the-clock to defeat any evil design."
However, the Trinamool Congress said that the party has sought an appointment with President Ram Nath Kovind to apprise him of the situation.
"A delegation comprising members of the 5 bereaved families and Trinamool leaders to meet @rashtrapatibhvn. Appointment has been sought from the Hon President," the Trinamool Congress tweeted.