Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi is set to face another day of questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case involving the National Herald newspaper.
Here are ten highlights from this major story:
- Rahul Gandhi arrived at the ED for the second day of questioning. He was earlier seen at the Congress party office with his sister, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, amid cheers from party workers. Several senior party leaders, including KC Venugopal, who was beaten by police yesterday, accompanied Mr Gandhi to the party office.
- Rahul Gandhi arrived at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) headquarters on APJ Abdul Kalam Road in central Delhi with his “Z+” category CRPF security escort on the same day that police personnel were deployed in large numbers and Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was imposed around the agency’s office.
- Top Congress leaders, including Harish Rawat and Randeep Singh Surjewala, were apprehended outside the Congress office as they attempted to march to the ED’s office. Many workers have been detained as well. Images show some of them being dragged down the street by police. Police and paramilitary forces have been stationed in large numbers around the party’s headquarters in Delhi. Several barricades have been erected to prevent people from approaching the grand old party’s Akbar road office.
- Section 144, which forbids large gatherings of people, was also used around the party office area. Congress members claim they were driving to the party office in separate vehicles, which does not violate the rules, but they were stopped and detained nonetheless.
- Earlier in the day, Congress party workers and senior leaders were seen fighting with police and security forces as they tried to enter the cordoned-off area. Several party workers, including a few MPs, were detained as they attempted to reach the party headquarters.
- Rahul Gandhi was detained for more than ten hours yesterday in connection with an alleged money laundering case involving the National Herald newspaper.
- The person being interrogated is given a series of questions and is instructed to write down their responses in their own handwriting. According to sources, Mr Gandhi was asked approximately 25 questions yesterday and is expected to spend another long day at the probe agency’s office. Statements made to an ED officer, unlike statements made to the police, are admissible in court.
- The Congress slammed the BJP-led government once more, accusing it of using the probe agency as a “election management department,” claiming that over 5,000 cases had been filed to intimidate political opponents. The cases vanish when one joins the BJP, according to the party.
- Rahul Gandhi pressed the Centre on Chinese encroachment, rising inflation, handling of the pandemic, the plight of migrant workers during lockdowns, farmers’ protests, and “communal unrest being fanned by the BJP,” senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said, claiming that the government fears Mr Gandhi and that is why it is ‘targeting’ him.
- According to the Congress, the questioning is part of the ruling BJP’s “vendetta politics.” In response to the protests, Union Minister Smriti Irani stated that the party was attempting to put pressure on the investigation agency and that the protest was not intended to save democracy but rather to save Rahul Gandhi’s properties worth Rs 2,000 crore.