A four-member Congress delegation heading for Mon district in Nagaland, where 14 civilians were killed in firing by security forces, was stopped by Assam police at the Jorhat airport on Wednesday. The delegation was stopped under Section 144 – prohibitory order to stop large gatherings – in force at the Jorhat airport. The leaders later staged a sit-in protest on the spot.
On Monday, the Congress formed the four-member delegation to visit Mon district to meet the families of the 13 people who died over the weekend, and submit a report to party chief Sonia Gandhi within a week.
The delegation comprised AICC general secretary Jitendra Singh, Dr Ajoy Kumar, MP Gaurav Gogoi and Anto Anthony.
"Protesting against the illegal detention of Congress delegation at Jorhat and preventing us from travelling to Mon district in Nagaland to meet the families of the victims," Gaurav Gogoi tweeted.
Tagging Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, Jitendra Singh Alwar tweeted: "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 meet the families of the victims".
"The Congress delegation is at Jorhat and are being prevented from traveling to Mon district in Nagaland to meet the families of the victims," said Bobbeeta Sharma, the chairperson of the party's Media Department in Assam.
"There's Section 144 (in force) in Nagaland and they don't have permission from Nagaland. Inter-State issues are sensitive between Assam and Nagaland. We don't want to be seen as complicating it further. If they had to go to Nagaland, they could have directly landed at Dimapur," said a senior Assam police official to NDTV on condition of anonymity.
"Protesting against the illegal detention of Congress delegation at Jorhat and preventing us from traveling to Mon district in Nagaland to meet the families of the victims," tweeted Mr Singh.