What is being done to Shivakumar is unfair: Congress (2nd Lead)

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New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The Congress on Thursday slammed the BJP-led Central government over the arrest of former Karnataka Minister and senior party leader D.K. Shivakumar by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case, saying that what is being done to him was “unfair” and hoped that the court would do justice.

In a show of solidarity with Shivakumar, lodged in Tihar jail, senior party leaders Ahmed Patel, Anand Sharma and D.K. Suresh met him in the prison on Thursday.

The meeting of the Congress leaders with Shivakumar lasted for over 40 minutes. After the meeting, Sharma told reporters: “We inquired about his welfare, we strongly feel that what is being done to him is unfair.”

“There is issue of his personal liberty, his health and fundamental rights. We hope the Court does justice,” Sharma added.

Shivakumar was arrested by the ED on September 3 in connection with its probe into the charges of money laundering after questioning him for four days. The arrest came after the Karnataka High Court rejected his plea for interim protection from the arrest.

Shivakumar’s brother Suresh told reporters: “Right now, he is alright… the blood pressure is little bit high but he is alright.”

He said Sharma and Patel talked about providing the party’s moral support to Shivakumar. “They told him that they are with him and that he will come back early and they will cooperate and support”, Suresh said.

“They also told him that they came to meet him on interim Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi’s request,” Suresh said Shivakumar has adjusted to the life and routine in jail, and he was waiting for the future course of judicial action.

Shivakumar has been on the radar of the Income Tax Department and the ED since demonetisation in 2016. An I-T search at his New Delhi residence on August 2, 2017 led to the seizure of Rs 8.59 crore unaccounted cash.

The I-T Department lodged cases against him and his four associates under Sections 277 and 278 of the I-T Act, 1961 and Sections 120(B), 193 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Based on the I-T Department chargesheet, the ED registered a money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others.

Last week, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi met former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who is also lodged in Tihar jail in the INX Media case since September 5.

The Congress has accused the BJP-led Central government of indulging in vendetta politics following the arrest of two of its senior leaders.

–IANS

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