4 Congress workers arrested for vandalising Mahatma Gandhi photo after SFI attack
CPI(M) leader and Kerala PWD Minister P A Muhammed Riyas said the Congress should take action against its workers who damaged Mahatma Gandhi’s photo and put the blame on the SFI workers
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Four Congress workers including Rahul Gandhi’s office secretary in north Kerala’s Wayanad were arrested and released on bail on Friday in connection with damage to Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait at the Congress leader’s office in June.
The arrests, which provoked howls of protest from the Congress, comes weeks after chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the state assembly that the Mahatma’s portrait was intact when the Congress MP’s office was vandalised allegedly by SFI activists but was damaged later to defame activists of the Students Federation of India, the ruling CPI(M)’s students’ wing.
Congress leaders said the police deliberately turned the party workers who complained about the SFI attack as offenders at the instance of the ruling CPI(M).
“All four staff members in the MP office were arrested. It is quite unheard of, complainants have turned offenders all of a sudden. The CM’s office is behind the move to limit the damage carried out by SFI workers,” said state Congress president K Sudhakaran.
Police rebutted the allegation, saying they arrested four workers including Rahul Gandhi’s personal assistant K R Ratheesh based on their inquiry. CPI(M) Wayanad district secretary P Gagarin said police action was based on their investigation and the party has no role in it.
Gandhi’s office in Kalpetta town of Wayanad was allegedly attacked by SFI activists on June 24. Police arrested 26 SFI workers in this connection. After the attack, Congress leaders alleged that the attackers did not spare Mahatma Gandhi’s photos were not spared by SFI activists and gave wide publicity to this.
But CPI(M) leaders rebutted this charge, saying Mahatma Gandhi’s photo was safe when the SFI activists left the place.
Pinarayi Vijayan made a similar point in the assembly in July. “Many channels beamed the picture of the office after the attack and Gandhi’s photo was intact in those visuals. It happened after Congressmen barged into the office. What Godse did literally, the Congress has done symbolically,” he told the legislators.
In July, a CPI(M) activist also filed a police complaint against Congress workers for allegedly destroying Mahatma’s photo.