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Congress Stages Protest Over Rahul's Questioning, Several Leaders, Workers Detained

Accusing the police of high-handedness, the Congress Lok Sabha leader said they entered the AICC office and beat up Congress workers. He claimed that the police would have caused a havoc had the media not been there.

The MPs wanted to protest against
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Congress leaders and workers on Wednesday staged protests outside the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office and the party headquarters here and were detained by police.

Several Youth Congress and Mahila Congress workers protesting outside the Congress office on Akbar Road were roughed up by the police and forcibly taken away, a party worker said.

Delhi Pradesh Congress workers also staged a protest outside the heavily barricaded ED office against party leader Rahul Gandhi's questioning by the probe agency in the National Herald money laundering case.

The protests were taken out as Gandhi reached the ED office for questioning for the third consecutive day. A strong posse of the police force, supported by paramilitary personnel, stopped the Congress workers and whisked them away.

Among those detained are a number of women and youth workers of the party, including IYC chief B V Srinivas and Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary. Chaudhary alleged that section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in the area on instructions of the BJP.

Congress MPs Manickam Tagore, Thirunavakkarasuar, A Chella Kumar, Amar Singh and Jayakumar Vijay Vasanth protested in the Parliament complex and raised slogans against the government.

Tagore said they had come to the Parliament complex as they were not allowed to enter the AICC office by the police. The MPs wanted to protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue against the "torture" and questioning of Rahul Gandhi by the ED in a false case, he said.

The MP, however, alleged that they are not allowed to stage a protest. He said the police were acting as BJP agents. "What is happening in the country. Have we become a Banana Republic? Is this democracy? The Constitution is being violated," senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.

Accusing the police of high-handedness, the Congress Lok Sabha leader said they entered the AICC office and beat up Congress workers. He claimed that the police would have caused a havoc had the media not been there.

"Our workers are being beaten up mercilessly," Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said, cautioning the BJP. The police have put up barricades around the AICC office here and workers were prevented from entering the party office.

Congress leaders claimed this was the first time in the country that party workers were not allowed to enter the AICC office. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in central Delhi since Monday, banning the assembly of more four or more people.

(With PTI inputs)

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