Delhi Police Issues Fresh Notice to Rahul Gandhi Over 'Sexual Harassment' Remark
When he was in Srinagar, Rahul Gandhi shared anecdotes about women who told him they were raped.
The Quint DAILY
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On Sunday, 19 March, the Delhi Police arrived at the residence of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to seek information about the 'sexual harassment' survivors he had spoken about in a speech during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar.
The Delhi Police, on 16 March, had issued a notice seeking information about the same. On Sunday, the police served a fresh notice on Rahul Gandhi and said that they would question him if necessary.
What have the police said?
According to Hindustan Times, Sagar Preet Hooda, Special CP (Law & Order), told reporters, "We've come here to talk to him. Rahul Gandhi gave a statement in Srinagar on January 30 that during Yatra he met several women and they told him that they had been raped... We're trying to get details from him so that justice can be given to the victims."
Later in the day, Hooda said, according to ANI: "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."
What did Rahul Gandhi say during the yatra?
When he was in Srinagar during the yatra, Rahul Gandhi shared anecdotes about women who were raped and had reached out to him.
He had said, "When I was walking, there were a lot of women who were crying… Few of them got emotional after seeing me. But there were women who told me they have been raped, they have been molested. Few said they were molested by their relatives/known persons. When I asked them if I should call the police, they said no and wanted me to know. They didn't want to inform the police because they said they would face more issues..."
The Delhi Police said that Gandhi was sent a questionnaire to get more details as the women had not approached the police.
Has the Congress responded?
"The Modi government has gone berserk in the effort to save Modi ji's "best friend"!" said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in a tweet.
He added: "After 45 days, sending Delhi Police to Shri Rahul Gandhi'shouse for questioning regarding 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' is yet another cowardly act of dictatorial government! Run the parliament, sit the JPC Bring out the truth!"
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said in a statement, "It has been 45 days since Bharat Jodo Yatra ended. They (Delhi Police) are going for questioning after 45 days. If they are so concerned, why didn't they go to him in February? Rahul Gandhi's legal team will respond to it as per law."
After the notice was issued on Thursday, the Congress said on its official Twitter account, "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."
MP Shashi Tharoor asked the Delhi Police what "actionable information" they can gain by questioning Rahul Gandhi.
"As @RahulGandhi made clear, the women requested him not to make their testimony public or to involve the police. What actionable information can they possibly hope to glean?" he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said on Sunday, "Some people have a habit of saying anything just to be in the news. But they don't understand how serious this issue is."
Speaking to the media, he added: "Is he [Rahul Gandhi] hiding something? Was he lying then or is he lying now?"
(With inputs from The Indian Express and Hindustan Times.)
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