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Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor detained during protest over inflation

06 August 2022

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Several Congress MPs, including Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor, were detained by Delhi Police on Friday during a protest in the national capital against inflation and unemployment.
The protests, being held across India, started after Rahul Gandhi's press conference concluded at the headquarters on Friday morning.
Rahul Gandhi said that there is no democracy in the country and that all institutions are under the control of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
The opposition leaders are not being allowed to talk about inflation either in parliament or outside, and they are being arrested instead, he alleged.
On Friday morning, the Delhi police denied Congress workers permission to protest citing prohibitory orders, PTI reported.   
"Information has been received through reliable sources that you along with your supporters are going to hold the protest on Friday," a letter to Congress general secretaries read.
"In this regard, it is to inform you that Section 144 CrPC is in force in the entire area of New Delhi district except for Jantar Mantar, protest/dharna/gherao in the area of New Delhi district on Friday cannot be permitted in view of security/law and order/traffic reasons and existing guidelines."
The police tried to control the protests outside the Congress headquarters.
Despite the prohibitory orders, Congress MPs started their march from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Rahul Gandhi joined the rally too. They were soon detained by the police.
"Again today, Congress MPs denied democratic right to protest against price rise, unemployment and GST," Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet. "Bundled into police vans at Vijay Chowk. It's clear, only those who are afraid try to instill fear!"
Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi led the protest at Parliament. The party MPs wore black as a mark of demonstration.
"Inflation has risen beyond the limit; the government will have to do something about it," said Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. "This is why we're fighting."
Police were deployed across Delhi on Friday morning ahead of the Congress's protest on inflation and unemployment, ANI reported.
The opposition has been staging protests since the monsoon session of parliament started on July 18, seeking a discussion on inflation. Several MPs have been suspended for protesting in both the Houses of parliament.
India's retail inflation has stayed above the Reserve Bank of India's upper tolerance level of 6% for six straight months till June. The price-rise indicator had touched an eight-year-high of 7.79% in April.
The opposition has also sought to discuss tax increases on several goods and services.
On July 19, GST rate hikes kicked in on several goods and services ranging from unbranded packaged food items to hospital rooms with charges above Rs5,000.
Meanwhile, some Congress leaders have come under the Enforcement Directorate's scrutiny in money laundering cases related to the National Herald newspaper. The leaders have said the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government indulges in vendetta politics through the central agencies.
In July, the Enforcement Directorate interrogated Sonia Gandhi for three days in connection with the case. Rahul Gandhi was questioned for 50 hours over five days in June.
On Thursday, Rajya Sabha and Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge were asked to appear before the Enforcement Directorate at 12.30pm even though the Parliament session was underway. He left the office after eight hours.
Rahul Gandhi said that Congress would not be intimidated by the action of the Enforcement Directorate.
"We are not afraid of Narendra Modi," he added.
"They may do whatever they want. It does not matter. I will continue to work to protect the country and democracy and maintain harmony in the country. I will continue to do my work whatever they may do."

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