Sonia holds meeting with Congress MPs from poll-bound Punjab

By PTI

JAMSHEDPUR: A fact-finding team constituted by the Congress claimed that intelligence failure was the reason behind the Nagaland firings in which 14 civilians were killed by security forces earlier this month.

The team comprising former Union minister Jitendra Singh, MPs Gaurav Gogoi and Anto Antony, and former MP Ajoy Kumar submitted their report to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday.

Kumar, who is the party’s in-charge of Nagaland, in a statement issued here on Friday said the team was formed on the direction of Gandhi to look into the causes of the incident.

The report took on Union Home Minister Amit Shah, alleging that he “lied” on the floor of Parliament over the incident, and questioning why he has not visited the spot.

Shah had told the House that a vehicle was signalled to stop but it tried to speed away and suspecting the presence of extremists in the vehicle, the security personnel opened fire.

A Congress team had left Delhi to visit the spot on December 9 but were stopped at the Jorhat airport.

However, they were allowed to meet the injured undergoing treatment at Dibrugarh hospital following strong protest, the statement said.

The injured persons had made “startling revelation” to the Congress delegation, clearly indicating that the home minister had “lied”, it claimed.

Security forces opened fire on civilians, killing 14 and injuring 11 in Nagaland’s Mon district in consecutive episodes, the first of which was a case of “mistaken identity”, according to police.

One soldier also died in the rioting that followed.