New Delhi: The Congress hit out at the Modi government Thursday after Delhi police named its leaders Salman Khurshid and Udit Raj in a charge sheet filed in the February riot cases, saying it will “neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism”. “The FIR against Salman Khurshid, Udit Raj and others reflects the mortal fear and cowardice of the Modi government. These are men and women of proven track record and of stellar service to the nation. Not surprising that a narcissist government gets insecure of voices of dissent,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.
The Delhi police charge sheet has said Khurshid and Raj were among politicians who gave provocative speeches during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Police have referred to former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan and a protected witness and said they told them about the speeches in their disclosure statements. The charge sheet said the protected witness stated in the statement, recorded under CrPC Section 161 (examination by police), that several big names such as Raj, Khurshid, CPM leader Brinda Karat had come to the Khureji protest site and gave “provocative speech”.
“Whether in the Parliament or the restless streets of India, the Modi government subjugates, suppresses and suffocates dialogue and discussion. PM Modi detests such democratic principles. Let it be remembered – we’ll neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism,” Surjewala added in a second tweet. Other Congress leaders too voiced their disapproval at their colleagues finding a mention in the charge sheet. Ahmed Patel said it is “shameful” that the BJP government is “falsely harassing” senior politicians like Khurshid, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechuri and others.
Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand were named in a supplementary charge sheet filed recently in the riot cases for “provoking and mobilizing” anti-CAA protesters. “These leaders have an impeccable record of fostering communal harmony, the Delhi police’s charges are not only wrong but also laughable,” Patel said in a tweet.
Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “A former Foreign Minister and Law Minister, Salman Khurshid is amongst the nicest, gentlest, learned, nationalistic, secular Indians I have known, and he figures in a chargesheet! It is a SHAME on the Delhi Police and its true and two masters.” Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.