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57 Cong MPs detained, party leaders roughed up

Hooda said that the Congress was also informed that only office functionaries and staff would be permitted into the office after due authentication by AICC volunteers…reports Asian Lite News

A total of 259 Congress party workers, including 57 MPs including former chief Rahul Gandhi, were detained on Tuesday as they staged a protest here against the Centre’s “vendetta politics” and avoiding important issues like price rise in the Parliament.

Special Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, Dr. Sagar Preet Hooda said inputs from various sources indicated that senior Congress functionaries may hold gatherings and demonstrations at the party headquarters on Akbar Road to show their solidarity with party’s interim President Sonia Gandhi who was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for a second round of questioning.

“Owing to the law and order situation and sensitivity of the matter, a letter was again sent to the Organiser, AICC to inform that large gathering at around Akbar Road, New Delhi cannot be permitted as prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC are in force in New Delhi District,” he said.

Hooda said that the Congress was also informed that only office functionaries and staff would be permitted into the office after due authentication by AICC volunteers.

“At about 11 a.m., a large number of the AICC workers started gathering at various locations i.e. Akbar Road, Man Singh Road, Vijay Chowk, Janpath, etc. and started protesting,” he said.

Around the same time, Congress lawmakers carried out a protest march from the Parliament house to Rashtrapati Bhavan in the wake of the questioning of Sonia Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate and no discussion of important issues like price rise in Parliament.

However, as the parliamentarians moved forward to give a memorandum to President Droupadi Murmu, the Delhi Police stopped them midway near Vijay Chowk. Subsequently, Congress parliamentarians, including Rahul Gandhi, sat in protest in front of the Vijay Chowk.

The protesting Congress leaders, holding placards, raised slogans against the ED and the Central government. There was a heavy security force deployment, including paramilitary, to prevent any untoward situation.

Initially, the police began detaining other leaders, including women MPs, and at last Deepender Singh Hooda and Rahul Gandhi were left at the spot. The woman Congress MPs could be seen being dragged by the police personnel and bundled in a bus.

“What is the problem? We want to go there to meet the President and handover the memorandum. Why are we not allowed?” Rahul Gandhi could be heard telling a Delhi Police official.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who was among other protesting leaders, said that they wished to meet President Murmu and apprise her of many issues including the misuse of probe agencies especially to target the Opposition members. Congress leader K.C. Venugopal said the government is not allowing any discussion on price rise and the issue of vendetta politics of the Enforcement Directorate.

Special CP Hooda said that the protestors were appropriately warned about the prohibitory orders in force in the area and repeatedly requested to disperse from there but they continued the protest, thereby violating prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC. After detaining every protesting leader from near the Vijay Chowk, Rahul Gandhi was then detained and taken from there in a bus along with other MPs to new police lines, Kingsway Police camp.

All the party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, were released from detention around 7 p.m.

“The protestors were detained under section 65 of the Delhi Police Act in order to maintain law and order in the area. Some protestors were also detained from Akbar Road and other places. All in all 259 persons including 57 Hon’ble MPs were detained,” the senior Delhi Police official said.

Meanwhile, Indian Youth Congress President B.V. Srinivas was allegedly manhandled and roughed up by the police personnel while he was being detained from outside the party’s headquarters at the 24, Akbar Road.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, Amrutha Guguloth said they were trying to identify the police staff who allegedly manhandled Srinivas. “Disciplinary action would be initiated against the staff after identifying,” the DCP assured.

In a video of Srinivas which is going viral on social media, a police personnel could be seen snatching the Congress leader’s hair as a dozen policemen tried to bundle him inside their vehicle. In the same video, Srinivas too could be seen struggling to get out of their grip and talk to the media persons.

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