Guwahati: Youth Congress president Srinivas B V on Monday appeared before the police in Guwahati for questioning in a sexual and mental harassment case filed by now-expelled leader Angkita Dutta.
He reached the Panbazar Women police station at 11 am after landing at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport earlier in the day.
Srinivas was accompanied by his lawyer and Assam Congress leaders, including MLAs Rakibul Hussain and Rekibuddin Ahmed. After spending nearly one-and-a-half hours at the police station, he left for the office of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the city. The CID had also issued a separate notice to Srinivas in the same case.
While coming out of the office an hour later, he told waiting reporters, ”The matter is before the court. And I have faith in the judiciary”. Briefing reporters later, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Debabrata Saikia, said, “We are members of a party which is known for following the ideology of non-violence. We respect the law of the land. Srinivas is appearing before the police here as ordered by the Supreme Court.
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“We have full faith in the judicial system and we know that justice will be done,” he added.
Asked about Srinivas’ meetings with the police and CID, Saikia said, “It was a cordial interaction”. The senior Congress leader also claimed that its youth wing workers were prevented by the police in different districts from coming to Guwahati to extend solidarity with their national president.
“They were prevented by the local police, who threatened them with arrest or other actions under different provisions of law. Some were detained also for long time in the local police stations,” Saikia maintained.
The case in which Srinivas was summoned was filed by Dutta at the Dispur police station on April 20 alleging that he was “persistently harassing and torturing her for the last six months by making sexist comments, using swear words and also threatening her of dire consequences if she keeps complaining against him to the senior party office bearers”.
She had also mentioned in the complaint that during the party’s recent plenary session at Raipur, the accused had physically heckled her and threatened of ruining her career if she complained against him.
Dutta had made the allegations against the IYC president in a series of tweets on April 18.
After the FIR was registered, a five-member team of Guwahati Police went to Bengaluru on April 23 and pasted a notice at Srinivas’ residence directing him to appear at Dispur police station by May 2.
The Congress issued a show cause notice to Dutta and later expelled her from the primary membership of the party for six years for anti-party activities.
Srinivas had also served a legal notice on Dutta, demanding an apology, failing which he threatened to initiate legal proceedings.
He had approached the Gauhati High Court for anticipatory bail and when it was rejected, he had appealed for it before the Supreme Court.
The apex court on May 17 granted him interim protection from arrest in the case. It directed Srinivas to cooperate in the investigation and appear before the police in Guwahati on May 22.
It also directed him to cooperate in the inquiry being carried out by the National Commission for Women.