A number of Congress leaders and workers including Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president G A Mir were detained Monday after they staged a sit-in and tried to take out a march here to protest the alleged misuse of government agencies against opposition leaders by the BJP-led central government.
The protest was part of the nationwide agitation by the Congress against the questioning of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate in the National Herald money-laundering investigation.
Hundreds of Congress workers led by Mir assembled outside party headquarters at Shaheedi Chowk in the heart of the city and staged a sit-in before starting a march which was, however, foiled by the police by barricading the main Residency Road, officials said.
They said when the protesters tried to break the police cordon, police swung into action and detained the protesters who were taken to police lines by Gandhi Nagar in two buses.
Prominent among those taken into preventive custody include working Congress president Raman Bhalla, vice president Mula Ram, chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, former ministers Shabir Khan and Yogesh Sawhney, president Mahila Congress Indu Pawar and youth Congress president Udey Chib.
“The entire Congress leadership is on the roads across the country and our aim is to march towards ED offices to lodge a protest against the BJP-led government which is misusing central agencies,” Mir told reporters before being detained by police.
Amid anti-BJP and pro-Congress sloganeering by the protesters, Mir alleged that BJP is using the agencies like ED, National Investigation Agency and Central Bureau of Investigation to browbeat the opposition.
“Anyone speaking against the wrong policies of this government becomes the target of the central agencies. We are protesting against this situation and the undemocratic actions,” the Congress leader said.
He said Rahul Gandhi is bravely speaking against the “wrong policies” of the government and is being targeted deliberately by using the enforcement directorate.
Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said the party rank and file would not be cowed down by such measures.
“We stand with our leader Rahul Gandhi and are ready to give any sacrifice,” Sharma said.