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. Top Congress leaders, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, and Rajya Sabha MPs Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Jairam Ramesh, have also reached Mr Gandhi’s residence.
Taking cognisance of social media posts, police had sent a questionnaire to Rahul Gandhi. Mr Gandhi is yet to respond to it.
Police 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 wants to know the details of those women from Rahul Gandhi so that legal action can be taken.
Top police officials, along with a Special Commissioner of Police level officer, will try to talk to Mr Gandhi to obtain information about the concerned women.
Top 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.
Delhi Police sources say if he fails to give details, another notice will be served upon him.
“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 said.
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.