Told Congress to go to Jantar Mantar for big gathering: Delhi Police on mega stir

Published on Jun 13, 2022 01:40 PM IST

Prominent among those detained were Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, KC Venugopal and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Congress activists being detained during a protest against summoning of party leader Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case, near AICC office in New Delhi, Monday,(PTI)
Congress activists being detained during a protest against summoning of party leader Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case, near AICC office in New Delhi, Monday,(PTI)
By, New Delhi

Special Commissioner of the Delhi Police (law and order) Sagar Preet Hooda said the cops had asked Congress leaders - who took to the streets as part of the mega 'Satyagraha' march on Monday as Rahul Gandhi appeared before the ED for questioning in a money laundering case - to go to Jantar Mantar in central Delhi if they wanted a big gathering. The police have detained several top Congress leaders for violating prohibitory orders.

"Congress leaders gave a letter to us last night (Sunday) asking permission for their 200 office bearers, MPs, senior leaders and 1,000 workers to visit the AICC office. We cleared that if they want a big gathering, they can go to Jantar Mantar," news agency ANI quoted Hooda as saying.

Hooda added that on Monday morning, the police received a list of 198 people to go to the AICC office, after which they revised it and listed 214 people. "We allowed them and detained unauthorised gathering that happened at a few spots. The situation and traffic are normal now. Protests are not permitted in the area anymore," the special CP said.

"The Section 144 was already imposed. The Supreme Court has some guidelines and as per our own SoP, we could not provide the permission; we permitted 100 people to go to the AICC office and the rest of the demonstration was permitted to be held at Jantar Mantar," Hooda said.

Prominent among those detained were Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala, KC Venugopal and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Gandhi, 51, arrived at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in central Delhi around 11am after he started from the Congress office on Akbar Road accompanied by a large convoy of party leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Gehlot and Baghel.

In view of the barricading, Gandhi took a detour to reach the probe agency's office.

This is the first time that Gandhi has appeared before a central probe agency for questioning in a case.

Congress MPs and workers had assembled at the AICC headquarters where Surjewala announced they would march peacefully towards the ED office and if they are stopped, they would court arrest.

Raising slogans in support of Gandhi, Congress workers started a march towards the ED office but were stopped by the police which had put up barricades all around the AICC office.

Some Congress workers also mounted barricades.

A large number of workers were taken in preventive custody for violating the provisions of Section 144 CrPC banning assembly of more than four persons, which was imposed in central Delhi.

Baghel claimed that he has been arrested.

"I have been arrested....you should ask the Delhi Police why I have been arrested," he told reporters outside the ED office.

“This is a dictatorship. Several Congress workers have been detained because they wanted to carry out a peaceful march. I am also being detained. This is unprecedented that Congress workers were not allowed to enter the Congress headquarters. If there is no FIR and how can ED summon him,” Baghel said.

The police, however, clarified that he is being detained and not arrested as he refused to leave despite several warnings.

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge accused the government of misusing agencies

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat said, "This is a fight for democracy. The government is trying to muzzle the voices of politicians who are trying to raise their voices."

He alleged that the ED had earlier cleared the name of Gandhi and asked why he is being targeted now.

(With inputs from agencies)

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