The letter, written last night by Kharge, also the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, underscored specific incidents that have raised alarms within the Congress party about the safety of its leader.He detailed the events that transpired, particularly highlighting a worrying episode that occurred on January 22, 2024.
“On the 22nd of January, 2024, in Nagaon district, BJP workers obstructed Rahul Gandhi’s convoy, coming perilously close to him, thereby creating an extremely unsafe situation,” Kharge mentioned in the letter.
He accused the Assam Police of being a silent spectator and sometimes facilitating the BJP workers’ access to the convoy, thus breaching the security cordon around Rahul Gandhi and endangering his and his team’s physical security.
The Congress President’s letter further noted that despite the presence of ample evidence in the public domain, no arrests have been made, nor have investigations been initiated in many instances. “As the risk increases, and as the Yatra proceeds as planned, we request your intervention to ensure that the chief minister of Assam and the director general of Police, Assam, take measures to prevent any such untoward incidents that could lead to grave personal injury to Shri Rahul Gandhi or any members of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra,” the letter read.
Clash breaks out between Police and Congress workers during Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra
The Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Jatra is currently in Assam and the alleged acts of violence took place while the party supporters and leaders broke barricades and clashed with police personnel in their bid to enter Guwahati, allegedly deviating from the approved route.
Four police personnel were injured in the scuffle, Guwahati police commissioner Diganta Bora said.
FIR filed against Rahul: Himanta
Meanwhile, the Assam police on Tuesday sum motu registered an FIR against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other leaders for “wanton acts of violence”, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
Sarma had earlier instructed the Director General of Police G P Singh to register a case against Rahul Gandhi for provoking the crowd to break the barricades. Singh also said that appropriate action is being taken against those involved in unlawful activities.
The sections under which the case has been filed deal with criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, rioting, assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty, damaging public property and others.
Gandhi said the chief minister directing the DGP to file a case against him shows ‘that they have fear in their hearts… They are afraid as the people of Assam are standing up as ‘tufan’ and ‘andhi’ (storm) against them’.
The barricades were erected along a highway to prevent Congress leaders and supporters taking part in the Yatra from entering the main thoroughfares of Guwahati, the largest city of the northeastern state.
As Congress supporters removed the barricades, a scuffle with the police personnel ensued leading to injuries suffered by state Congress president Bhupen Borah and leader of the opposition in the state assembly Debabrata Saikia.
Addressing the public from atop a bus, Gandhi said that they have broken barricades but ‘we will not break the law’.
He alleged that while BJP president J P Nadda was allowed to take the same route earlier, Congress was not permitted. “You should not think we are weak. We have broken the barricades,” he told his workers and supporters, calling them “babbar sher” (lion).
The chief minister said that evidence is emerging as to how Gandhi and senior leader Jitendra Singh “instigated the mob to kill Assam police personnel. … Our police personnel are servants of the public and do not belong to any royal family. Rest assured, law has a long arm, it will definitely reach you.”
The FIR was lodged suo-moto by Guwahati City Police at the Basishta police station, Bora said.
Permission was given to continue with the Yatra on conditions that the participants cannot enter congested areas of the city through any road and that it will pass through only approved route, he said.
However, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Jitender Singh, K.C. Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh, Srinivas BV, Kanhaiyya Kumar, and others instigated the crowd and took them towards Guwahati city by deviating from the approved route, Bora alleged.
The leaders bluntly refused and incited the crowd with inflammatory words to break the barricades and change the route, he said.
As a result, the crowd became violent and four Police personnel were injured, including one critically, Bora claimed.
(With inputs from agencies)