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The Congress party on Friday, 14 May, alleged that Home Minister Amit Shah sent the police to the Youth Congress office in Delhi for questioning its leader Srinivas BV and other party workers, who are engaged in COVID relief work.
Speaking to The Quint, Srinivas confirmed that the Delhi Police questioned him.
“They asked me questions, all of which I answered. I don’t want to comment any further. Will keep helping people,” he said.
"On a writ filed by Deepak Singh about politicians being involved in the illegal distribution of COVID medicines, etc, the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Police to conduct an enquiry. In compliance with the court's order, the Delhi Police is conducting an enquiry on several politicians, including Srinivas. Today (Friday), a Crime Branch team went to IYC's office to record the statement of Srinivas," the Delhi Police told NDTV.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to say that that the ‘rescuer is always greater than the one who kills’ and added a hashtag showing solidarity with the party’s youth wing.
‘Is Helping People With Oxygen a Crime’: Surjewala
In a scathing attack on the Modi government, Congress leader and spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala took to Twitter to allege that the Centre considered “helping people a crime".
Surjewala said, “Is helping people with oxygen a crime? Is helping dying patients with Remdesivir a crime? Is helping patients with medicines a crime? Is it a crime to arrange for beds and ventilators? Is providing food to the kin of COVID-affected patients and ambulance drivers a crime? It looks like, according to Narendra Modi, it’s a crime. That is why PM Modi and Amit Shah sent the police to the Youth Congress office today to question Srinivas and other party workers.”
“Is it a sin to provide the necessary help to the people that the Modi government could not help them with?” he said, adding that the party will help people even if everybody is arrested.
Addressing the officials of the Narendra Modi government, whom he referred to as “arrogant rulers,” Surjewala went on to say that, “Every time you try to oppress our workers and send police to our offices, our courage will get stronger.”
‘Outraged at Failure of BJP Govt’: Congress Members React, Show Support
While some INC workers echoed this criticism on social media, many others reiterated their support towards the IYC’s relief efforts amid a devastating second wave of the virus.
“Every truthful Indian who is concerned for the people who are suffering and is outraged at the failure of the BJP government in managing Covid outbreak, is standing in support of Srinivas,” wrote Congress’ Gaurav Pandhi.
President of Karnataka Congress censured the BJP by saying that “harassment and intimidation” are a core part of the party’s “standard operating procedure.”
Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor applauded the youth wing’s work by saying that their “efficiency has been matched by their courage and initiative.”
What Srinivas Said
As reactions poured in, Srinivas also took to Twitter to share a clip of Congress workers engaged in relief work, saying that it’s their responsibility to “spread love as far as possible.”
- 01/03Photo: Twitter (@INCIndia)
- 02/03Photo: Twitter (@INCIndia)
- 03/03Photo: Twitter (@INCIndia)
The alleged action by the Delhi Police comes following a recent controversy involving Srinivas BV, wherein the New Zealand Embassy had reached out to him on Twitter to help a staff member with oxygen supply, following which, the necessary help was provided by the Youth Congress.
The move had led to an exchange of barbs between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, too, had commented on the matter saying that the High Commission should have followed the official channels and protocols in place.