Rahul Gandhi, Congress leaders to be summoned by Assam Police for Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra violence


The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Assam Police is set to issue summons to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in connection with a clash that took place when Rahul Gandhi-led ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ entered Guwahati last month, sources have said.

A First Information Report (FIR) in the case mentioned the names of Rahul Gandhi, along with other senior Congress leaders such as KC Venugopal, Jitendra Singh, Jairam Ramesh, Srinivas BV, Kanhaiyya Kumar, Gaurav Gogoi, Bhupen Kumar Borah, and Debabrata Saikia.

On Monday, the Assam Police issued summons to Congress MLA Jakir Hussain Sikdar and another party leader for questioning in connection with the case. Summons were also issued to Guwahati City Congress general secretary Ramen Kumar Sarma, who were asked to appear before the police at 11.30 am on February 23.

THE CASE

On January 23, Congress workers in the presence of Gandhi and other leaders broke police barricades, which were put up after Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma threatened to file an FIR if the Yatra attempted to enter the main Guwahati city.

The party workers clashed with police, who used mild lathicharge to control the situation but failed to protect the barricades. Several police personnel and party workers were injured in the scuffle.

After dismantling the barrier, the Congress workers, however, did not proceed further, with Gandhi stating that they “can break barricades, but will not break the law” and moved along its permitted route along NH-27 in Guwahati.

This episode prompted the chief minister to term the action as “naxalite” style and instructed police to register a case. Guwahati Police lodged a suo motu FIR against Gandhi and other leaders for “wanton acts of violence”.

Sarma even announced that the “instigators”, including Gandhi, would be arrested after the Lok Sabha polls as he did not want to “politicise” the issue before the general elections.

The chief minister, who also holds the charge of the home department, later announced that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) would be formed to probe the case and accordingly, it was handed over to the CID.

Similarly, another FIR was registered against the ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ and its organisers such as KB Byju, Assam Congress chief Bhupen Kumar Borah and others for allegedly deviating from its permitted route inside the Jorhat town, leading to a “chaotic situation” in the area.

The Jorhat district police issued notices to the accused persons and several of them have already been interrogated.

The Yatra, led by the Congress MP, commenced from Manipur on January 14 and will culminate on March 20 in Mumbai.

Published By:

Devika Bhattacharya

Published On:

Feb 20, 2024

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