Top officers of the Delhi Police today reached Rahul Gandhi’s residence in connection with his “women are still being sexually assaulted” remark during the pan-India foot march ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. The police had issued a notice to the Congress leader on March 16 asking him for details of the women who had approached him regarding sexual harassment. The police team headed by Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda stood outside Mr Gandhi’s 12, Tughlaq Lane residence, for over an hour before the Wayanad MP met them. The police team then left, and Mr Gandhi was seen leaving his house, driving a car, soon after.
Rahul Gandhi reportedly told the police that the Bharat Jodo Yatra was long, and he doesn’t remember anything. The police then served another notice to him, and said his statement will be recorded. However, they didn’t give any fixed timeline for it.
Calling it a ‘shameful act’, Congress said it shows that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is nervous about their questions on the Adani issue.
“‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ and Rahul Gandhi ji gave women a safe platform to share their problems and pains.
This shameful act of Delhi Police proves that PM Modi is nervous about our questions on the Adani issue.
Our courage has been strengthened by such antics, we will continue to demand answers,” the party tweeted.
‘भारत जोड़ो यात्रा’ और राहुल गांधी जी ने महिलाओं को अपनी समस्याएं व दर्द साझा करने का एक सुरक्षित मंच दिया।
दिल्ली पुलिस का यह शर्मनाक कदम साबित करता है कि अडानी मामले पर हमारे सवालों से PM मोदी घबराए हुए हैं।
ऐसी हरकतों से हमारा हौसला और मजबूत हुआ है, हम जवाब लेकर रहेंगे। https://t.co/GlOVemReC3
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 19, 2023
Top Congress leaders, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, and Rajya Sabha MPs Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Jairam Ramesh, also reached Mr Gandhi’s residence. Several Congress workers who gathered at the former party president’s house to protest against police presence were detained by the police.
Taking cognisance of social media posts, police had sent a questionnaire to Rahul Gandhi, which he hadn’t responded to.
Police had said Rahul Gandhi gave a statement in Srinagar during the Bharat Jodo Yatra that “I have heard that women are still being sexually assaulted”.
Delhi Police said it wants to know the details of those women from Rahul Gandhi so that legal action can be taken. Top police officials wanted to talk to Mr Gandhi to obtain information about the concerned women.
Congress sources say there is no legal precedent to the notice being issued against Rahul Gandhi based either suo motu or on a complaint. The grand old party sees this as another tool of harassment deployed by the Delhi police. “There can be a statement, but they can’t compel him to reveal names of victims. The action is malicious and bogus,” they said.
“As it’s a sensitive case involving the life and security of individuals, the team is working to collect relevant information to ensure evidence and witnesses aren’t tampered with,” they added.
Congress leader Pawan Khera questioned why the police is asking this question 45 days after the Yatra concluded. The government is ‘nervous’, he added.
“We will respond to the events as per rules, but is it right to act this way? It has been 45 days since the Bharat Jodo Yatra ended, and they are asking it now. This shows that the government is nervous. I was stopped from entering today. Why?” Mr Khera said.
Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi minister Saurabh Bhardwaj said his party, a direct rival of the Congress, has no problem in saying that it’s wrong is the Centre is ‘misusing’ probe agencies against Rahul Gandhi. He, however, also took a dig at Congress, referring to its leaders’ remarks on central agencies acting against AAP leaders.
“We have always said that the central government is misusing its agencies. We have no problem in saying that if agencies are being misused even with Rahul Gandhi, then it is wrong. It should not happen. We are not the kind of people who would cheer the action against Rahul Gandhi, as Congress leaders often tell us. If the agencies are being misused, then it is wrong. It should not happen,” he said.