Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury was booked on Thursday by the Hyderabad Police for grabbing a policeman’s collar during the party’s protests against Enforcement Directorate questioning of Rahul Gandhi in a money-laundering case, ANI reported.
A case has been registered against Chowdhury and Telangana Congress chief Revanth Reddy, said Inspector Niranjan Reddy of Punjagutta police station.
They have been charged under the Indian Penal Code sections 151 (joining in an assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse), 140 (wearing garb or carrying of token used by a soldier, sailor or airman), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty).
On Thursday, Chowdhury was seen arguing with a policeman in a video clip. After she grabbed his collar, a female police officer took Chowdhury to a police van. Chowdhury claimed that she had grabbed the policeman’s collar as she has a problem with her leg and lost balance, ANI reported.
“I didn’t assault,” she said. “I don’t have anything against that young man. He never did anything to me. I was losing balance and I held on. If you move, I will have to hold to steady myself as we were being pushed and bullied from the back.”
She said she will apologise to the policeman and face the charges against her.
“But I expect the police to apologise to me for manhandling us,” she added. “Why were there so many men police around us?”
On Thursday, the Congress also held protests in other parts of the country, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Jammu, Jaipur and Chandigarh.
The Delhi Police registered a first information report against unidentified Congress members for allegedly assaulting security personnel, obstructing them from doing duty and destroying public property, The Indian Express reported.
“The protesters threw and broke barricades,” said Sagarpreet Hooda, special commissioner of police (law and order). “Some of them even set a tyre on fire and assaulted our staff. We have registered a case and are investigating the matter.”
On Wednesday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had accused the Delhi Police of forcefully entering the party office and beating up workers.
Hooda said the party has filed a complaint against the police for the alleged manhandling. He, however, clarified the police did not use force.
“It was a minor tussle,” Hooda said. “The protesters started throwing barricades at police and were pushing police personnel. The police were trying to detain them for illegal assembly and there was a scrimmage. We didn’t enter the party office. Only a few personnel went near the gate and held one to two men. We are looking into their complaint.”
The Delhi Police has imposed restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, prohibiting the gathering of four or more persons in the areas around the Congress headquarters.