"Risk Increases": Rahul Gandhi In Assam, M Kharge's Letter To Amit Shah

Congress leaders have been alleging that Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been creating hurdles in the yatra

A day after Rahul Gandhi-led Congress workers clashed with Assam police personnel on the Guwahati city limits, party president Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking his intervention to ensure the security of Mr Gandhi and other participants of his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

This comes after Assam Police filed an FIR against Mr Gandhi and other Congress leaders for the clash. They have been charged with criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, breach of peace, among others. The case was filed after Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the "naxalite tactics" used by Congress workers are "not part of Assamese culture".

In his letter to the Home Minister, Mr Kharge listed "several instances where the Assam Police has been found wanting in providing adequate security" Mr Gandhi is entitled to as a Z+ protectee. He then referred to the defacing of Congress posters and BJP workers blocking the Congress yatra on January 21 and assaulting state party chief Bhupen Borah.

"In all of the troubling events mentioned above, the Assam Police has systematically stood by and/or allowed BJP workers to come closer and closer to the convoy of Shri. Rahul Gandhi, breaching his security cordon, and endangering his physical security and that of his team," Mr Kharge wrote.

None of those involved in these incidents, he said, had been arrested despite the presence of evidence in the public domain. "As the risk increases and as the Yatra proceeds as planned, we request your intervention to ensure that the Chief Minister of Assam and the Director General of Police, Assam ensure that no such untoward incident takes place which may lead to grave personal injury to Shri. Rahul Gandhi or any members of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra," he added.

Congress leaders have been alleging that Mr Sarma has been creating hurdles in the yatra. Yesterday's clash at Guwahati city limits took place when police stopped Congress workers from moving on city roads. The administration had earlier denied permission for the yatra to move through the city's arterial roads, citing congestion fears. Congress workers termed the grounds of denying permission frivolous and tried to break through the barricades, leading to the clash with cops.