The Air Force has said it stands by a decision taken by its pilot who refused to fly Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from Kokrajhar to Guwahati last evening on account of bad weather.
In a strong statement emailed this morning to the media, the Air Force said, "Based on the prevailing weather and approaching sunset, the pilot taking the safety of the VIP as being paramount, arrived at the decision that it was unsafe to undertake the flight. The pilot's decision was taken using his professional judgment." (Read entire Air Force statement here
Mr Gandhi spent yesterday in Assam meeting with victims of the recent ethnic violence in the state. At the peak of the tension, nearly four lakh people were displaced and forced to live in relief camps.
In the evening, Mr Gandhi wanted to fly back to Guwahati with Congress Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, but was denied permission for take-off by Air Force officials.
Mr Gandhi then flew in a chopper from Kokrajhar to Dhubri and then returned to Guwahati by road. Chief Minister Gogoi returned by train.
(With inputs from Agencies)