National Herald case: ED seals Herald Office day after raids; Congress under siege, says Jairam Ramesh

This development comes a day after the central probe agency carried out searches in 11 other locations in connection with the National Herald money laundering case under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

National Herald case: ED seals Herald Office day after raids; Congress under siege, says Jairam Ramesh
ED seals National Herald's head office in Delhi.

In a sweeping move, the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday sealed the head office of National Herald in Delhi, which is owned by the Gandhis. The ED officials issued further issued instructions that the office not be opened without their permission. Additional police security has been provided outside the entrance of the newspaper office, a move termed by the Congress leaders as “mysterious.”

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This development comes a day after the central probe agency carried out searches in 11 other locations in connection with the National Herald money laundering case under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The National Herald’s registered office is the Herald House. Associate Journals Limited (AJL) is National Herald’s publishing house.

The ED is probing the alleged financial irregularities arising out of Young India Private Limited’s acquisition of AJL and its assets worth over Rs 2,000 crore. Both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi jointly own 76 per cent of the shares of Young Indian Private Limited.

Following the development, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh hit out at the Narendra Modi-led central government and claimed that the Congress party “is under siege.” Soon after the Herald office was locked down, Ramesh took to Twitter and wrote, “@INCIndia is under siege. Delhi police has surrounded our HQs, and homes of INC President & ex-President. This is the worst form of vendetta politics. We will not submit! We will not be silenced! We will continue to raise our voice against injustices and failures of Modi Sarkar!”

In another tweet, he wrote, “Delhi Police blocking the road to AICC Headquarters has become a norm rather than an exception! Why have they just done so is mysterious….”

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have been questioned by the ED on several occasions over the past two months. The Congress has vehemently opposed the move, with many leaders pointing out that the ED is being used as a “tool” by the Centre to “destroy” any opposition voices in the country. Congress Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that the party was not being allowed to raise the top of the alleged “misuse” of central agencies, including the ED, in Parliament.

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