Highlights

  • Rahul Gandhi was questioned for over 9 hours on Monday
  • Congress held massive protests across India
  • Several Congress leaders were detained

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National Herald case: Rahul's questioning to continue, all you need to know from Day 1

The ED is recording the statement of the Lok Sabha member from Wayanad in Kerala under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was questioned for over nine hours by the Enforcement Directorate in a money-laundering probe linked to the National Herald newspaper and was called to depose again on Tuesday, as his party protested across the country, alleging that the Centre was targeting the Opposition by misusing agencies.

Gandhi, who appeared before a central probe agency for the first time for questioning, arrived at the ED office at 11.10 am on Monday accompanied by a battery of leaders including sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and escorted by armed CRPF personnel. He was given an 80-minute break in the afternoon and was at the ED office till past 10 pm.

Hundreds of Congress workers in Delhi and state capitals took to the streets and several senior leaders, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Randeep Surjewala and K C Venugopal, were detained here amid a massive show of strength by the party which had called for the Satyagraha march against the ED summons.

The principal opposition party alleged that the Delhi police made a "murderous attack" on its leader Venugopal and others, with former home minister P Chidambaram and Pramod Tiwari sustaining hairline rib fracture.

The Delhi Police said while no incident of injuries due to use of force by police has come to its knowledge, it will diligently probe any such complaint and take appropriate action. It said 459 people were detained including 26 MPs and five MLAs and all women and functionaries have been released.

Lashing out at the government for "not allowing"' peaceful protest, Congress leaders said they would not kowtow to the Modi government and vowed to continue their agitation.

The BJP hit back at the Congress, accusing its leaders of putting pressure on the ED, supporting corruption and protecting the alleged assets worth Rs 2,000 crore of the Gandhi family.

Noting that nobody is above the law "not even Rahul Gandhi", BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani claimed that never before such a blatant attempt was made by a political family to hold a probe agency to ransom to protect its "ill-gotten" assets.

Gandhi, 51, went from the party headquarters on Akbar Road to the ED office in central Delhi a few kilometres away in a convoy of seven cars after walking for some distance with his supporters.

After about two-and-a-half hours, he left the ED office for a lunch break during which he met his mother Sonia Gandhi at the Gangaram Hospital, where she has been admitted, and returned at 3.30 pm.

Officials said the questioning on Monday continued well past 9 pm and he has been asked to appear before the ED again on Tuesday.

The former Congress president, a Z+ category protectee of the CRPF after the Union government withdrew the Gandhi family's SPG cover in 2019, is expected to write down his statement, official sources said.

Prohibitory orders were imposed in parts of central Delhi that were heavily barricaded.

The ED is recording the statement of the Lok Sabha member from Wayanad in Kerala under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The probe is related to alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper, published by the Associated Journals Limited (AJL).

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are among the promoters and shareholders of Young Indian.

(With PTI inputs)

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