Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury was on Thursday seen in a video purportedly grabbing the collar of an on-duty police official during a protest called by her party, the act forcing the police to slap a case against her.
A 'Chalo Raj Bhavan' call was given by Congress' Telangana unit, protesting against the grilling of top party leader Rahul Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money-laundering case pertaining to the National Herald-AJL deal.
A video showing Chowdhury 'arguing' with police officials who were trying to prevent her from going to the Raj Bhavan and later allegedly holding the collar of a police official (Sub-Inspector of Police S Upender Babu), went viral.
However, Chowdhury clarified saying it was not intentional and she has huge respect towards the police.
Upender in his complaint lodged at Panjagutta police station said after Chowdhury along with some other party workers, moved towards Raj Bhavan, they pulled the barricades across the road and stood guard to prevent her from going towards Raj Bhavan.
Chowdhury was told by the police to disperse as there was no permission to go towards Raj Bhavan, but she became angry and started threatening the police personnel to make way and as per the instructions of senior officials, the woman force was ordered to take her into custody and they stood around them.
'While the woman personnel were taking Chowdhury into custody and taking her to the vehicle, she started resisting and rushed towards me by pushing the woman police constable, assaulted me and held my collar and started abusing me,' the SI alleged in his complaint.
Chowdhury along with woman Congress workers was taken into custody and shifted from that place, police said adding based on the complaint a case was registered against Chowdhury under relevant Indian Penal Code sections.
Later, Chowdhury told TV channels that she had no intention of humiliating the police official and she merely caught hold of his shoulder as she was about to fall when being pushed.
"We know how to respect the uniform. Police also have to learn to respect women. I have no intention of hitting policemen. That is not my intention at all. But I was being manhandled. I was losing my balance and I was falling on that man. You can see that in the visuals very clearly that they are suddenly trying to push me and that is the reason my hand slipped from when I was (trying to hold the shoulder) reaching for his shoulder he moved and I caught his collar. It was not my intention to humiliate him or anything like that," she said.
During the protest, Chowdhury also said: "If you touch me...I drag you up to Parliament. Khabardar (beware) if you mess with us. We are peacefully walking along with women. What is this drama. Somehow you provoke and brand Congress on the consequences. I paid taxes for these roads . I am a citizen. I have a right more than police have (to walk on the road). If I try to enter Raj Bhavan you can question me."
Earlier, mild tension prevailed near the Raj Bhavan, after scores of Congress leaders and workers held a protest against the questioning of Rahul Gandhi by the ED.
A large number of Congress leaders and party workers led by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President and party MP A Revanth Reddy tried to march towards the Raj Bhavan in an attempt to lay siege to it, but police foiled their attempts and dispersed them even as the party said some of its leaders were injured due to lathi charge by police.
Police said no prior permission was obtained for the 'Chalo Raj Bhavan' rally.
Police said the gathering of over 200 protesters, were told to disperse as it was unlawful assembly, but the Congress leaders and cadre did not heed to the orders and continued to stay there and upon the call given by Revanth Reddy the gathering became violent and started damaging vehicles which were passing on the road.
A two-wheeler was burnt allegedly by some protesters, who also demonstrated on the road even as some of them were seen protesting atop a state-run city bus even as window panes of the bus were smashed allegedly by an agitator.
Window panes of a car were also allegedly damaged by the protesters.
Revanth Reddy, three Congress MLAs and many party leaders and workers were taken into preventive custody by police and cases were registered against them, police added.
The protest caused traffic jam on Khairtabad Circle and surrounding areas.
The protesters raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also police.