Mayhem broke outside the Congress party’s headquarters in Delhi on Wednesday with several party leaders alleging that police personnel entered the party office premises, manhandled and beat up party officials. The development came as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi made his third consecutive appearance in as many days before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the agency’s probe into the National Herald case. Rahul, who is still being questioned by ED sleuths for the third consecutive day, has already faced over 25 hours of questioning.
The Delhi Police has denied the charges of high-handedness levelled against them and maintained that they neither entered the party office nor used force against anyone.
“Many people threw barricades at police near the AICC office, so there might’ve been a scrimmage. But police didn’t go inside the AICC office and use lathi charge. Police are not using any force. We will appeal to them to coordinate with us,” SP Hooda, Special CP (Law and Order) told news agency ANI.
Reacting to the allegations of cops barging into the party headquarters and the detention of protesting Congress leaders, senior party member KC Venugopal accused the BJP of “killing” Indian democracy. “As they burst the doors open to the AICC HQ, they trampled upon the democracy our forefathers fought and gave their lives for,” Venugopal said on Twitter. Congress MP Karti Chidambaram also termed the Delhi Police as the “private militia of BJP.”
The Congress, while posting a video of the incident on Twitter, warned the ruling BJP of breaking its arrogance. “Oh dictator… when you have to do vandalism, then get down from the chair of democracy and come in front of the people. The Congress office to which you have sent your police goons, that office has rubbed off the world’s biggest empire… what is the status of your arrogance? We will break your ego,” the party tweeted.
Warning of massive protests across all districts in the country, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, “Today all Congress leaders will hold press conferences. Tomorrow Congress will gherao all Raj Bhavans across India. Protests will also be held at all District levels the day after tomorrow.”
“Are we terrorists? Why are you scared of us? They are using police force against Congress leaders and workers,” senior party leader and MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told ANI.