Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has responded to accusations made by Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala that he was attempting to arrest Indian Youth Congress President Srinivas BV. Sarma denied the allegations, stating that the Assam police are acting within the law in investigating a case against Srinivas BV filed by a female Congress worker. The case is registered under Section 354 of the IPC, which deals with assault or criminal force against a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty.
Surjewala’s accusations came after Ankita Dutta, former President of the Assam Youth Congress, filed a complaint against Srinivas BV, accusing him of harassing her for almost six months and making sexist comments. Dutta also accused Srinivas of using slang words and threatening her with dire consequences if she complained about his behavior to high-ranking members of the Congress Party. In a written complaint filed with the Dispur Police Station in Assam’s Guwahati, Dutta requested immediate action against Srinivas.
Following the filing of the complaint, the APYC President was expelled from the primary membership of the party for six years. The move was criticized by some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members, including Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who slammed the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) for its handling of the issue. Sarma expressed his support for Ankita Dutta, stating that she is “Assam’s daughter” and that the Congress Party had assumed that she was wrong and Srinivas was on the right path.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was also accused by Ankita Dutta of not taking action against Srinivas despite being informed of the matter several months ago. The Congress Party dismissed the charges, calling them politically motivated.
The ongoing dispute has highlighted issues of harassment and the treatment of women in the Indian political sphere. It remains to be seen how the investigation into Srinivas BV’s alleged behavior will proceed and what impact it will have on the Congress Party’s standing in the region.