Congress slams Delhi Police in complaint after stir: 'Such actions bring shame'
National Herald case: Delhi Police had refuted claims by the party and said the Congress was told not to hold demonstrations.
After fierce allegations were made over cops barging into the Congress office in Delhi on Wednesday, the grand old party has now filed a complaint against some officers of the Delhi Police, seeking strict action and an investigation.
Top Congress leaders - including Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, Sachin Pilot, Randeep Surjewala - have been briefly detained over the last few days after the party's "Satyagraha" protest began on Monday. Despite barricades, tight security and restrictions on large gatherings, the Congress went on to hold demonstrations against summons to Rahul Gandhi and party president Sonia Gandhi in the National Herald case probe over alleged misappropriation of funds.
In its complaint, the Congress has said that at around 12 pm on Wednesday, "armed officials of the Delhi Police stormed the gates of 24 Akbar Road and began brutally and without provocation, manhandling and attacking members of the Indian National Congress who were present." "Journalists were also present and there is clear footage of this heinous and outrightly illegal act. There was no prior notice given, no provocation which merited this act of police excess and no discernable reason for why the police would enter the premises of a national political party and for no understandable reason, misbehave and brutally attack members who were present," it reads
For two days prior to this act, the party says, "the Indian National Congress was protesting peacefully and in a constitutional manner with regard to the ED's actions against its senior leader, a right given to it under the Constitution. Even on these occasions the Delhi police behaved in an appalling manner, detaining men and women late into the night and refusing to give cogent reasons for such detention". The Congress suspension and investigation of officers over the alleged high-handedness.
"There is even footage where the president of the youth congress is being dragged and is then kicked by a constable of the Delhi police. Such actions bring shame to the Delhi Police and cannot be allowed to reflect on the larger police force," the party says in its complaint referring to Srinivas BV.
On Wednesday, Adhir Ranjan Choudhary had also alleged manhandling by the Delhi Police as Ajay Maken tweeted a clip, accusing cops of forcefully entering the party office. "The roughing up of Mr Adhir Ranjan Choudhary and others has been captured on video. Every legal norm and political norm in a democracy was violated. We condemn the action of the police in the strongest terms," former union minister P Chidambaram tweeted.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also shared a video of a female party colleague alleging that officers misbehaved with her and others. "This is outrageous in any democracy. To deal with a woman protestor like this violates every Indian standard of decency, but to do it to a LokSabha MP is a new low. I condemn the conduct of the @DelhiPolice & demand accountability. Speaker @ombirlakota please act! (sic)" he tweeted.
The Delhi Police, however, has rebuffed the allegations of high-handedness.
Rahul Gandhi will appear for a fresh round of questioning before the Enforcement Directorate on Friday.