Updated: Wed, 15 Jun 2022 10:04 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday asked former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to appear before it again on Friday after grilling the Wayanad MP for almost 9 hours on Wednesday. Gandhi (51) arrived at the ED headquarters on APJ Abdul Kalam Road in central Delhi around 11.35 am with his "Z+" category CRPF security escort. After today's round of questioning, he has clocked close to 30 hours with the ED investigators.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appeared before the ED on Wednesday for the third consecutive day of questioning in the National Herald money laundering case, with the agency seeking answers about his "personal role" in taking decisions with regard to the media organisation and its owner Young Indian.
According to ED officials, Rahul Gandhi sought exemption on Thursday from the questioning process, which, they said, was allowed. A huge contingent of police and paramilitary personnel was deployed around the federal agency's office, and prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) are in force.
The ED has been conducting a video and audio recording of the statement of Gandhi during all three days' sessions. His statements are being typed on A4-size papers and are minutely reviewed by him and signed before submission to the investigating officer.
Gandhi, as per ED sources, is being asked about the assets worth about Rs 800 crore "owned" by AJL and how a not-for-profit company like Young Indian (YI) was undertaking commercial activities of renting out its land and building assets.
Congress demands FIR against Delhi Police, vows to intensify protest:
The grand old party has called the agency's action vendetta politics of the Centre against opposition leaders as the party's supporters continued protests on roads leading to the ED office. The Congress also alleged that Delhi Police personnel forcibly entered its headquarters and beat-up party workers and leaders today.
Congress leaders shared purported video clips on social media showing police personnel entering its office premises on Akbar Road and beating up party functionaries. The party demanded that an FIR for "criminal trespass" be registered, the erring police personnel be suspended and disciplinary action initiated against them. The Delhi Police, however, rejected the allegations as "totally false".
"We had tried to stop them and tried to close the gate of AICC (All India Congress Committee) office in order to prevent a procession from being taken out... In this process, their might be some scrimmage, but police had not tried to enter the premises of the AICC and they had no reason to enter," a senior police officer said.
Today, Delhi Police forcibly entered the HQ of India’s oldest political party.— K C Venugopal (@kcvenugopalmp) June 15, 2022
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. pic.twitter.com/PNQXOrngeB
Several leaders, including MPs Jothimani and D K Suresh, former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, Youth Congress chief B V Srinivas and Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary, were detained by the police from outside the AICC office.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said the party's state units would stage silent protests and would gherao Raj Bhawans across the country on Thursday morning against the police action. "We are protesting peacefully in a Gandhian way but such kind of behaviour and goondaism are unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Surjewala said.
The Gujarat Congress also said that its workers will stage protests across the state on Friday against the Delhi police action at the AICC headquarters. Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor alleged the Delhi Police “raided” the AICC office in Delhi at the behest of the BJP-led Centre to stop the party workers from protesting against the questioning of Rahul Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate.
(With Agencies Inputs)