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Need to substantiate Rahul Gandhi’s claims: Delhi Police

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 19-03-2023 Sanjeev K Jha

Delhi Police, in the investigation into the allegations made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the sexual harassment of women, could not find details of any such victim or case, after which they decided to speak to the leader in person, officials said on Sunday.

Gandhi, during his Bharat Jodo yatra, had on January 30 alleged in Jammu and Kashmir that “women are still being sexually assaulted”.

Police said the Congress leader spoke to them two hours after their team reached his Tughlaq Lane residence in Delhi on Sunday morning.

This was their third attempt to contact Gandhi since the allegations were made, officers said.

Sagar Preet Hooda, special commissioner of police (law and order, zone-2), who was leading the police team, said they conducted a probe into the allegations as the foot march also passed through the national capital. “We tried to collect details if any woman from Delhi had approached the Congress leader, but we could not get any such information. We also asked our officials, who were present at his yatra in Delhi, to know if they had seen any woman approaching Gandhi with their ordeal. But we could neither get the details of any such incident nor did we find any victim. During his yatra in Delhi, officers from Delhi Police, including me, were also present there,” Hooda said.

Police, Hooda said, then first decided to approach the leader on March 15 after they could not get any information in this connection. Gandhi, however, could not be reached at the time as he was “out of station”, following which a notice was sent to him on March 16, the officer said.

“Accordingly, a notice with a questionnaire was also sent to him on March 16, seeking details of the victims who approached him about the alleged sexual harassment,” Hooda said.

After speaking to the police team, Gandhi sought more time to furnish details in this connection, the officer said.

“He has sought time to compile the details which we’ve asked for. He told us that as the yatra was very long and he met many people, he needed more time to give us the information. We will begin our proceedings as soon as we receive the information,” the special CP said.

Hours later, Gandhi hit back at the timing of the visit — 45 days after he made the speech — and alleged that the real motive of the police visit was linked to his attacks on the government over the recent Adani controversy. In a four-page response to Delhi Police, Gandhi asked whether campaigns of other political parties, including the ruling BJP, have been subjected to such kind of scrutiny or questioning, PTI reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

“What is the urgency of making two visits within a span of two days, after a gap of 45 days of my speech,” he said. “I hope and trust that it has nothing to do of me being the centre of special attention both inside and outside of Parliament, including on the Adani issue, by the ruling dispensation in the last few weeks.”

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