Taking ‘orders from above’ to ‘defame’ Rahul, Congress says Delhi Police once again descends on Gandhi’s house

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday accused the Delhi Police of acting beyond its jurisdiction and taking “orders from above” to “defame” party leader Rahul Gandhi.

On Sunday morning, a team of Delhi Police, led by Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Sagar Preet Hooda, descended on Gandhi’s house at 12, Tughlaq Lane, to conduct further investigation. Information served him on Thursday to demand information about the sexual assault victims he mentioned in his speech during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir this January.

According to the Congress, the notice contained a two-page questionnaire seeking details of women who had complained of molestation, domestic violence and sexual abuse while speaking to Gandhi during his four-month Bharat Jodo tour that ended in January .

Speaking to the press at the Congress headquarters in the capital on Sunday, Congress MP and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that since specific details needed to be collected from the 4,000-km-long march, the police team was told on Thursday that Gandhi would take 10 days to present the same.

The police team that came on the 16th was told , and they returned satisfied , Details required in such a large quantity will take at least 7-10 days (to be submitted). There was no opposition at that time (at that time). So, today we were surprised that the same police team with some additional personnel again descended (at Gandhi’s house) with similar questions.

He further said that the police’s questions pertained to a speech given by Gandhi on January 30 in Jammu and Kashmir and other events and statements made outside Delhi.

Singhvi asked why the Delhi Police, which does not have jurisdiction over the cases, was giving notices in these cases. He also asked whether any other political movement or event in the country has been subjected to such inquiries.

“As we all know, such campaigns (like Bharat Jodo Yatra) involve different sections of people, who join the campaign on an ad hoc basis and give vent to all kinds of miscellaneous grievances. Complaints are heard with sympathy and where possible escorted, or they (complainants) are advised to take appropriate action. I don’t think it is expected from any political leader in a campaign to immediately stop and take recourse to law on the basis of several conversations and complaints made to him during the campaign,” Singhvi said.

“This (police notice) is unprecedented, unheard of and smacks of meanness of the worst kind. This is the politics of vendetta and intimidation.

The Delhi Police, on the other hand, said they were trying to get “justice” for the victims who spoke to Gandhi.

Speaking to the media, Special Commissioner of Police Hooda said on Sunday: “We have come here to talk to him. On January 30, Rahul Gandhi made a statement in Srinagar that he met several women during the visit and they told him that they had been raped. We are trying to get details from him so that the victims can get justice.

He said, ‘It is important for us to know whether there was any woman from Delhi who conveyed her message to Rahul Gandhi. This is a serious matter. There could also be a possibility of minors being involved in this.”

“Till now, no information has been given to us by Rahul Gandhi. We have requested them to provide information at the earliest media,

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‘Diverting attention from Adani scam’

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, who was also at the Congress press meet on Sunday, said action by the Delhi Police would not have been possible without “orders from above”.

“When no complaint or FIR has been registered, why is the police sending the notice (to Gandhi)? Usually at least one zero FIR is registered in the other state before the police of the other (territory) takes action. In this case, even that was not done,” alleged Gehlot.

Congress MP and party general secretary Jairam Ramesh called the police action an attempt by the ruling government (the BJP-led central government under which the Delhi Police functions) to divert attention from the (Hindenburg Research) allegations against the Adani group.

“They are doing this to divert the attention of the country and Parliament from the Adani scam,” Ramesh alleged at the press conference.

“Since 16 opposition parties have Asked for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (to probe the Adani case), since Rahul Yes Spoke on the Adani scam in the Lok Sabha for about 50 minutes, various tactics are being adopted to defame him.

(Editing by Nida Fatima Siddiqui)

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