Days after clash with BJP, Congress says Rahul Gandhi likely to visit Gujarat

The clash had erupted between Congress and BJP workers following Rahul Gandhi's remarks in the parliament on July 2.
Last Updated : 04 July 2024, 13:24 IST

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Ahmedabad: Four days after the party headquarters was vandalised by Bajrang Dal activists and five of its workers arrested following a violent clash with BJP workers, the Gujarat Congress on Thursday said that Rahul Gandhi may visit Ahmedabad this Saturday to meet the party workers.

Gujarat Congress president Shaktisinh Gohil on Thursday said he spoke to Gandhi and asked him to visit Ahmedabad to meet and support local leaders who "under attack bravely fought with the BJP goons." Although Gohil didn't confirm the date, party leaders said that Gandhi may visit on Saturday, on the eve of Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad.

The Congress has said that if police don't act in an "impartial manner", it will hit the road by embarking a "jail bharo" movement on July 6. Gohil said that the party could have planned to hold this event on July 7 as well but for the convenience of the devotees, the party decided to do it a day early. Party leaders across the state have been told to remain present.

The Rath Yatra over the past decades has become state's biggest public event with over 25,000 policemen deployed to guard the procession that covers nearly 15 km, passing through several communally sensitive localites.

In a message, a Congress leader said, "Shaktisinh Gohil has appealed to Rahul Gandhi to visit Gujarat in view of the fact that police are not filing the case based on the complaint by Congress leaders."

The clash had erupted between Congress and BJP workers following Rahul Gandhi's remarks in the parliament on July 2. Targeting BJP and RSS, he said that "those who call themselves Hindus only talk about violence..." The BJP accused Rahul Gandhi for calling "Hindus violent." A day after the speech, a group of activists from Bajrang Dal vandalised Congress headquarters, Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, in Paldi, Ahmedabad.

Later in the evening, a large number of BJP workers gathered outside the Congress office to register their protest against Gandhi's speech. The protest turned violent and stones were hurled in which a police constable was injured.

The local police registered two FIRs including one by the constable who named Congress leaders including Shahzad Pathan, a leader of opposition in Ahmedabad municipal corporation, Pragatiben Nandaniya along with 200 to 250 Congress and 150 to 200 BJP workers.

A second FIR was registered by BJP's Yuva Morcha's Ahmedabad chief Vinay Desai against 26 Congress leaders including Pathan and hundreds of Congress and BJP workers. Gohil has accused that despite repeated attempts and meetings with Ahmedabad police commissioner, the police have not registered FIR based on complaints by Congress leaders against BJP workers.

Warning the police against any "impartial treatment", Gohil said that the Congress will go upto Supreme Court against responsible policemen. He said that Congress office was vandalised by Bajrang Dal and then attacked by BJP. "Instead of acting against them, a number of policemen barged into our headquarters and arrested our leaders. How could they barge into offices like this without a warrant. We are demanding that such policemen be suspended."

Published 04 July 2024, 13:24 IST

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