Amid the Congress’ protest against the BJP and Enforcement Directorate for “implicating” former Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a money laundering case, senior Congress leaders Wednesday alleged that the Delhi Police forcibly entered the AICC Headquarters in New Delhi and thrashed the party workers.
On the third day of their protest, a group of policemen allegedly broke into the office and manhandled workers. Several Congress members alleged they were not allowed to reach the office and participate in the protest. In the past two days, the Delhi Police detained over 250-450 Congress leaders and workers for illegal assembly and violating police orders. Section 144 CrPC has been imposed in the area.
INC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters at the AICC Headquarters, “The Delhi Police forcibly entered the national headquarters of Indian National Congress at New Delhi and beat up our workers and leaders. This is blatantly criminal trespass…We are protesting peacefully in a Gandhian way but this ‘goondaism’ is unacceptable. It will not be tolerated. It will be accounted for… We demand that an FIR be registered against all police officers who are forcibly entering the HQ. We also demand their suspension.”
Ruchira Chaturvedi, national convenor (Social Media Department), posted a video on Instagram with a caption saying, “Today, the police forcibly entered the Congress party headquarters in Delhi. What exactly is the crime that the office of the main Opposition Party had to be attacked like this? Why are @incindia workers and leaders being detained, house arrested, dragged and assaulted since the last 3 days, when they are just protesting peacefully? Right to protest is the right of every citizen in a democracy and critical to a healthy, well-functioning democracy. When that right is attacked, where does that leave our country? Where will this take us, where will this stop at?”
The video shows a group of policemen, followed by paramilitary personnel, entering the AICC office and dragging a party member. They pick up the man and take him outside.
MP K C Venugopal also posted the video and a tweet saying, “Today, Delhi Police forcibly entered the HQ of India’s oldest political party. As they burst the doors open to the AICC HQ, they trampled upon the democracy our forefathers fought and gave their lives for. BJP has truly killed Indian democracy. It doesn’t get darker than this.”
Congress leaders said the policemen also lathi-charged party members and leaders inside and outside the office.
Amrutha Guguloth, DCP (New Delhi), denied the allegations of lathicharge and termed them “untrue”.
“The workers came outside and threw barricades at policemen. So, there might have been some tussle. The allegations of police forcibly entering the office and lathi-charging are absolutely false. Police are not using any force. There would be no issues if the organisation comes and talks to us and give a proper list. If there’s an unorganised gathering, we are taking action and talking to workers. If they don’t listen to us, we have to detain them,” said Special CP (Law and Order) Sagarpreet Hooda
Party general secretary and MP, Ajay Maken, posted a tweet alleging the police lathi-charged Congress workers
“Today, entering the premises of AICC, the police lathi-charged the Congress workers. The headquarters of a political party, especially of the main opposition party, is a temple in a democracy. This temple has been attacked. The police force has surrounded it from all sides. Congress workers will not tolerate this.”
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