On Thursday, the Congress workers continued to severely protest against the ED for interrogating Sonia Gandhi in the National Herald newspaper money laundering case. While the protests took place in several states across the country, the situation worsened in the state of Karnataka and Telangana where the workers set ablaze the vehicles in presence of the Police personnel.
Karnataka | A car was set on fire allegedly by Youth Congress workers, in front of ED office at Shantinagar in Bengaluru earlier today.— ANI (@ANI) July 21, 2022
Congress is holding nationwide protests today against the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi’s questioning by the agency, in Delhi. pic.twitter.com/qk1bABE55n
According to the reports, the Congress workers in Telangana torched a two-wheeler while the youth Congress workers set two cars on fire in front of the ED office at Shantinagar in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The police issued a notice and increased patrols after two parked vehicles were set ablaze in separate instances on July 21. One car was torched in front of the ED office and the other one was set on fire in Seshadripuram.
Telangana | Congress workers torched a two-wheeler near the ED office in Hyderabad today as they protested over the questioning of the party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi by the agency in Delhi. pic.twitter.com/hghyMW8oV7— ANI (@ANI) July 21, 2022
The Police officer informed that 11 people were held for setting fire to a car outside the ED office in Shanthinagar during a demonstration, and that the police are investigating to identify the persons, while attempts are being made to find the owner of the automobile. However, no arrests have been made in the Seshadripuram case, in which two motorcyclists carrying fuel in a plastic bottle spilled it on the backseat of a parked car, lit fire to it, and then fled from the scene.
Reports mention that the police are also reviewing CCTV video to discover the attackers and are also attempting to locate the owner of the automobile. Police described the event as an attempt to instill terror in the public, and they increased their patrols to keep an eye on the law and order situation.
The protests turned severe also in Delhi where the Congress workers stopped a train and blocked railway tracks at Shivaji Bridge railway station in the capital city. The workers further yelled the slogans and staged protest calling ED’s action against its top leadership a ‘political vendetta’.
Delhi | Congress workers stop a train and block railway tracks at Shivaji Bridge railway station as they protested against ED questioning of party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi, in the National Herald case. pic.twitter.com/86dzRBPrSa— ANI (@ANI) July 21, 2022
The Cadres also demonstrated at several areas around the national capital, prompting the Delhi Police to use water cannons to disperse them. P Chidambaram, Ajay Maken, Ashok Gehlot, and Sachin Pilot were among the protesting Congress leaders held in Delhi.
As reported earlier, the Congress workers also staged protests in Parliament and requested the opposition parties to join the protest in solidarity. During the protests, the Congress workers and supporters were seen calling the Modi-led government ‘goons’ as they raised slogans saying, “Gundagardi nahi chalegi, Gundagardi band karo (Hooliganism will not be tolerated, stop hooliganism)”.
Previously, when Rahul Gandhi appeared before the ED, Congress officials and workers, including party MPs had protested. Massive protests were executed in the states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan and more where the protestors had claimed that the Central government was trying to silence the opposition by sending ED notices in ‘fake cases’.
Rahul Gandhi was questioned by ED on June 13 for over 6 hours and his statement was recorded under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED had recorded the statements of all those involved in the case, with the exception of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. The agency however had issued summoned to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on July 11 for recording her statement on July 21.
The National Herald scam is one of the most notable legal cases in Indian history, as the Gandhis are directly accused. The Mother-Son duo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, along with their aides – Oscar Fernandez, Motilal Vohra and Sam Pithroda are alleged to have been involved in massive ‘cheating and breach of trust’ in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) by Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIL). Assets worth crores of rupees had been allegedly transferred for purposes other than originally intended for a paltry sum. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had got unconditional bail in December 2015.