Updated: March 13, 2021 4:10:22 am
Several Congress workers, including Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) interim president Amit Chavda, clashed with police and were later detained in Ahmedabad on Friday afternoon, after they were stopped from taking out a parallel Dandi March on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off a symbolic Dandi March from Sabarmati Ashram to launch the celebrations for 75th year of India’s independence.
Police detained over 50 Congress workers, including women, outside the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan in Paldi of Ahmedabad around 3 pm on Friday when they attempted to take out a march in support of ongoing farmers’ agitation in Delhi. A few Congress workers also suffered injuries as police forced them into police vans and took them to Ellis Bridge police station.
“We don’t have the right to take out a march, we don’t have the right to follow Gandhi’s ideology, only the followers of Nathuram Godse who have been in power in the form of Bharatiya Janata Party have the right to misuse police and administration to stop the Congress. We are fighting to save democracy, save the ideology of Gandhi and the constitutional rights of people,” said Amit Chavda, interim president, GPCC, moments before he was detained.
Chavda also alleged that police vandalised 80 tractors and deflated the tyres arranged by Congress Seva Dal in order to deter them from using the vehicles for the march.
SN Chaudhary, inspector, Ellis Bridge police station, said, “Yes we detained around 49 workers of the Congress party and kept them at our police station for two hours as they didn’t have permission to hold the march. They have been released without any charges.” Senior party leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and wrote in Hindi, “The tradition of Bapu’s Dandi march is today being carried out by the farmers of the country. Like the British Raj, the anti-farmer Modi government is trying to supress the Satyagraha. Satyagraha will win, not arrogance…”
Earlier, Gujarat Congress had announced that they will take out a rally of 80 tractors from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi on Friday in homage to the farmers’ protest. However, they were denied police permission till late Thursday night.
Amit Chavda had also written to Governor Acharya Devvrat on Thursday, requesting permission to hold the “Dandi March” after the programme of PM Narendra Modi outside Sabarmati Ashram.
“The Congress has been organising events to commemorate the historic Dandi March for the past several years. We welcome that PM Modi is organising such an event for the first time. However, Congress also has the right to celebrate the historic march and pay our homage…,” wrote Chavda in his letter.
State home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja issued a statement on Friday evening stating that the Congress was trying to bring disrepute to Gujarat by obstructing the “pious event of Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav by PM Modi”.
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