197 Congress workers detained for breaching sec 144: Delhi Police

New Delhi: Delhi Police on Tuesday detained 197 Congress party workers, including 18 MPs, for allegedly violating prohibitory orders against gathering of people, while taking out a march against the summoning of Rahul Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), officials here said.

They also said that All India Mahila Congress president Netta D’Souza assaulted the police personnel on duty and spat on them for which she has been booked.

According to police, All India Congress Committee (AICC) had requested for permission to hold a Satyagraha’ at the Jantar Mantar in central Delhi.

The programme was to be held against the Agnipath’ scheme and the appearance of party leader Rahul Gandhi before the ED, they said.

A permission for dharna was granted subject to the condition that only 1,000 party workers will be allowed at the protest site, police said.

But instead of holding the dharna at Jantar Mantar, the protesters assembled at AICC headquarters at 24 Akbar Road and marched out in the form of a procession in violation of the prohibitory orders promulgated under section 144 CrPC in force, Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda said.

A total of 197 Congress workers, including 18 members of parliament, were detained under section 65 DP Act to maintain public order in the area, he said.

While detaining the Congress workers, one of the protesters, Netta D’Souza, president of All India Mahila Congress, obstructed and assaulted the police personnel on duty and spat on them for which a criminal case is being registered under appropriate sections of law against her, Hooda said.

A video of the incident also circulated on social media in which D’Souza is seen spitting at security personnel while standing on the steps of a bus in which the party workers were being detained.

D’Souza in a tweet later said she was only spitting out hair and some dust that had gone into her mouth while she was being heckled by police during the tussle. She said she did not mean to disrespect security personnel.

In another incident, around 10 to 12 people gathered unannounced outside the residence of BJP President J P Nadda at Moti Lal Nehru Marg in the afternoon, police said.

They were shouting slogans against the Agnipath’ scheme and were carrying a long stick with some inflammable material, they said.

The demonstrators put the material on fire and put it at the entrance gate of the house, Hooda said.

The security personnel promptly came out and put out the fire, he said, adding suitable legal action is being taken against these people.

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