ED seals Young Indian's office; Cong says party under siege with cops at AICC HQ
A day ago, the ED conducted raids at the head office of the newspaper in the national capital and 11 other locations as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation.
The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday sealed premises of the Young Indian (YI) in the Congress party-headed National Herald newspaper's office and ordered that the area not be opened without prior permission from the agency.
A huge police force was seen deployed outside the AICC headquarters in Delhi and 10 Janpath, residence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Soon after, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Salman Khurshid, Digvijaya Singh, P Chidambaram and others reached the AICC office.
At a hurriedly convened press briefing, the leaders said the party was "under siege" by the government and Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are being treated as if they were "terrorists", calling it an "undeclared emergency".
The leadership said that the sole objective of this "siege mentality" of the "fearful" Narendra Modi regime is humiliation, insult and intimidation at one level and diversion, digression and sensationalism at another level.
A temporary seal has been put to "preserve the evidence" which could not be collected as authorised representatives were not present during the raids on Tuesday, PTI quoted official sources as saying, adding the rest of the National Herald office is open for use.
A day ago, the ED conducted raids at the head office of the newspaper in the national capital and 11 other locations as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation in the National Herald-AJL-Young Indian deal, a week after it questioned Sonia Gandhi.
Officials said the searches were carried out under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to "gather additional evidence with regard to the trail of funds".
The agency has also interrogated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi multiple times in connection with the money laundering case.
Singhvi said, “Today you have created a siege mentality, a climate of fear. The entire country watches as investigative agencies are deployed mindlessly against the leadership of India's oldest political party. You are treating this institution, this party, these leaders as terrorists. It is the worst form of petty politics and on the contrary, you blame us.”
Further, Maken said the Delhi Police has sent a letter to the Congress saying the party cannot hold any protest on August 5. The AICC had planned massive nationwide protest on price rise, unemployment and GST hike, with party leaders marching to Rashtrapati Bhavan and workers gheraoing the prime minister's residence.
(With agency inputs)