Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday sent a four-page preliminary reply to the Delhi Police's notice about his "women still being sexually assaulted" remark made during the Bharat Jodo Yatra while questioning the process adopted by the authorities and a sudden urgency after a 45-day delay.
He gave the 10-point reply hours after a Delhi Police team knocked on his doors for the third time in five days. He also sought eight to 10 days to give a detailed response to the questions posed by Delhi police over his January 30 remarks, the sources said.
Gandhi termed the police action "unprecedented" and asked whether this had anything to do with his position taken both inside and outside Parliament on the Adani issue, sources said.
According to them, Gandhi also asked what was the urgency on the part of the Delhi Police in making two visits in as many days after an initial gap of 45 days after he made his speech in Srinagar.
The former Congress chief, the sources said, asked whether any other political party, including the ruling party, has been subjected to such kind of scrutiny or questioning over their political campaigns.
An angry Congress has condemned the Delhi Police action and attacked the Central government, calling it the "worst case of harassment and political vendetta", but the BJP rejected the charge and said the police was "only discharging its lawful duty".
Bharat Jodo Yatra and Rahul Gandhi gave a safe space to millions of women to walk freely, voice their concerns & share their pain.— Congress (@INCIndia) March 19, 2023
Delhi Police’s cheap theatrics prove how rattled Mr Modi is with our questions on Adani.
This harassment deepens our conviction to seek answers. https://t.co/GlOVemRMrB
Taking cognisance of social media posts, the police had earlier sent a questionnaire and asked him "to give details about women who approached him regarding sexual harassment". According to them, Gandhi gave a statement in Srinagar during the Bharat Jodo Yatra that "I have heard that women are still being sexually assaulted".
#WATCH | We've come here to talk to him. Rahul Gandhi gave a statement in Srinagar on Jan 30 that during Yatra he met several women & they told him that they had been raped...We're trying to get details from him so that justice can be given to victims: Special CP (L&O) SP Hooda pic.twitter.com/XDHru2VUMJ— ANI (@ANI) March 19, 2023
Police have asked him to give details of these victims so that security can be provided to them, the officials said.
Delhi | Special CP (L&O) Sagar Preet Hooda arrives at the residence of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in connection with the notice that was served to him by police to seek information on the 'sexual harassment' victims that he mentioned in his speech during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. pic.twitter.com/WCAKxLdtZJ— ANI (@ANI) March 19, 2023
"A govt rattled by Shri Rahul Gandhi’s questions on PM Modi & Adani’s relationship hides behind its police. 45-days after Bharat Jodo Yatra was completed, Delhi Police has, via a notice, sought details of women who met him & spoke about harassment & violence they may have faced," the Congress tweeted earlier.
A govt rattled by Shri Rahul Gandhi’s questions on PM Modi & Adani’s relationship hides behind its police.— Congress (@INCIndia) March 16, 2023
45-days after Bharat Jodo Yatra was completed, Delhi Police has, via a notice, sought details of women who met him & spoke about harassment & violence they may have faced. pic.twitter.com/XBJrWFsd5H
He was served with a fresh notice in connection with the earlier notice. "We held a meeting with Rahul Gandhi. He said he needs some time and will give us the information which we have asked for. Today, we have served a notice which has been accepted by his office and if questioning needs to be done then we will do it,” Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda said.
We held a meeting with Rahul Gandhi. He said he needs some time and will give us the information which we've asked for. Today we've served a notice which has been accepted by his office and if questioning needs to be done then we will do it: Special CP(L&O) Sagar Preet Hooda pic.twitter.com/nCX0JXpM0A— ANI (@ANI) March 19, 2023
The Congress leader is already facing the BJP's ire for his remarks on Indian democracy in the United Kingdom. The latter has accused him of maligning the country's image on foreign soil after facing successive electoral setbacks.
(With inputs from PTI)