The Congress today wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah, alleging multiple breaches in the security of Bharat Jodo Yatra and demanding proper protection for party leader Rahul Gandhi.
In a letter to the Home Minister, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said that the security of the Yatra was compromised on multiple occasions following its entry into Delhi on Saturday.
Delhi Police, which comes under the Union Home Ministry, had “completely failed in controlling the surging crowd and maintaining a perimeter around Shri Rahul Gandhi, who is assigned Z+ Security, the letter stated.
The situation, it added, was so severe that Congress workers and Bharat Yatris walking with Mr Gandhi had to form a security perimeter. The Delhi Police, it alleged, remained “mute spectators”.
The Opposition party also alleged that the Intelligence Bureau have been interrogating people who took part in the Yatra.
Mr Venugopal also cited a police complaint the party filed in Haryana’s Gurgaon, “regarding unknown miscreants, belonging to Haryana State Intelligence, illegally entering Bharat Jodo Yatra’s containers”.
The BJP leads a coalition government in Haryana.
The letter then said that every citizen has a Constitutional right to move throughout India’s territory. “Bharat Jodo Yatra is a Padvatra to bring peace and harmony to the country. The government should not indulge in vindictive politics and ensure the safety and security of the Congress leaders,” it added.
Citing sacrifices made by Congress leaders, including Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, for the unity of the country, the party sought better security for the Yatra and Rahul Gandhi as it enters Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
“Moving forward, Bharat Jodo Yatra is slated to enter the sensitive state of Punjab and J&K in the next phase starting from January 3, 2022. In this regard, I request you to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of Shri Rahul Gandhi, a Z+ protectee, and of all the Bharat Yatris and leaders joining the Bharat Jodo Yatra,” it said.
Addressing the media, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged a “conspiracy” to stop the Yatra. “Attempts are being made to defame the Yatra. Those who want to disrupt it are making attempts through their police, their media. They won’t be successful”.
The Congress’ allegations of security breach come against the backdrop of Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya writing to Mr Gandhi, urging him to ensure Covid protocols are followed in the Yatra or suspend the march in “national interest”. The Congress MP had responded by saying that these are “excuses” to stop the Yatra.