NEW DELHI – The Congress said that some Delhi Police personnel forcibly entered its headquarters and beat up party workers and leaders on Wednesday, on a day the party staged protests against the questioning of Rahul Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate.
The party demanded that an FIR for “criminal trespass” be registered, the erring police personnel be suspended and disciplinary action initiated against them.
“In an act of absolute goondaism perpetuated by the Delhi Police at the instance of the Modi government, the police today forcibly entered the national headquarters of the Congress here and beat up party workers and leaders. This is patently criminal trespass. The goondaism of Delhi Police and Modi government has reached its zenith,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala was quoted by PTI as saying.
He said the party’s state units would stage silent protests Wednesday evening and would gherao Raj Bhawans across the country Thursday morning against the police action.
The Congress staged vociferous protests in the national capital on the third day of Rahul Gandhi’s questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.
The police had cordoned off areas around the AICC headquarters and barricaded it with increased police strength. Many party workers were picked by the police and lodged in police stations across Delhi.
“We are protesting peacefully in a Gandhian way but such kind of behaviour and goondaism are unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Surjewala said.
“Let all the police officers who are acting as puppets of Modi government in order to please their masters know that this will not go unpunished. We will remember and suitable action, both civil and criminal, will be taken,” he said.
He demanded that an FIR be lodged against the officers of Delhi Police who “committed criminal trespass by forcibly entering” the headquarters of the Congress party, they be suspended and disciplinary inquiry initiated against them.
“Tomorrow, the Congress has decided to gherao all Raj Bhawans across India in protest against this action of the police, and the designed deception and suppression of the voice of Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party, who continue to champion the voice of the poor, the downtrodden and common people,” Surjewala said.
These voices cannot be suppressed by the “puppet” ED, he said.
AICC general secretary K C Venugopal shared on Twitter a purported video of the police entering the party headquarters.
“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,” he said.
Venugopal said press conferences will be held at the party’s state unit offices at 4 pm on Wednesday highlighting the ED’s “despicable partiality and brutal police raj”.
On June 17, massive protest demonstrations will be held in all district headquarters, he added.