Nagaland killings: Cong team en route to Mon district stopped at Jorhat airport
A delegation of Congress leaders, including party general secretary Jitendra Singh Alwar, was stopped at Jorhat airport in Assam by the district administration when they were on their way to meet the families of civilians who were killed in a botched Army operation in Nagaland last week.
The delegation had arrived to visit Mon district, where the killings took place, when they were barred from proceeding under section 144(1) of CrPC.
“...there are sufficient grounds to prohibit their further movement considering the present sensitive situation at Assam-Nagaland border areas and apprehension of breach of peace and tranquility in the border areas of Jorhat district,” a statement issued by Jorhat district magistrate Ashok Kumar Barman said.
“.....considering their safety with regards to prevailing situation in bordering district of Nagaland, I, Shri Ashok Kumar Barman, IAS, district magistrate, Jorhat in exercise of power conferred upon me under do hereby prohibit the visit of the aforesaid delegation of Hon’ble MPs & others beyond Jorhat Airport unless express permission to given by the Govt. of Nagaland for entering the State,” the statement added.
Alwar, who is in-charge of Assam, alleged that he and his colleagues were released only after five hours and allowed to return only in government vehicles.
“Detained at Jorhat along with AICC delegation, Assam Police has orders to hold us in Jorhat , Assam and prevent us from travelling to Mon district, Nagaland. Why are we not being allowed to meet the families of the victims @AmitShah @himantabiswa?” Alwar posted on Twitter.
Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi and Congress general secretary Ajoy Kumar were also among those detained at the airport.
Jorhat superintendent of police Ankur Jain told HT: “The delegation was trying to go to the Nagaland border area which is sensitive. Problems could arise if they went there. We stopped them for a while and released them later.”
Fourteen civilians were shot dead by security personnel during a botched ambush and a subsequent confrontation with local villagers on Saturday and Sunday. Union home minister Amit Shah told Parliament on Monday that the firing was a consequence of “mistaken identity” and that a special investigation team has been directed to complete the probe within a month.
(With inputs from Biswa Kalyan Purukayastha)