Enforcement Directorate seals National Herald office just day after raids
A day after raiding multiple locations linked to the National Herald newspaper on Tuesday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday sealed a portion of the newspaper's office. The ED has instructed that gates will not be opened without "prior permission from the agency," ANI reported. The development comes only days after ED questioned Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the National Herald case.
Why does this story matter?
The high-profile National Herald case came to light in 2013 when BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint before a trial court. He accused top Congress leaders of cheating and breach of trust in the acquisition of AJL by Young Indian (YI). To note, the National Herald was a newspaper founded by Jawaharlal Nehru along with other freedom fighters in 1938.
'Only YI office inside building sealed'
Part of the headquarters of the National Herald newspaper, Herald House, located at the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in Delhi has been temporarily shut by the ED. However, as per NDTV, the Young Indian (YI) company office located inside the building is the only area to have been sealed. "The principal office of YI was not present when ED was conducting searches," media reported.
Watch: Young Indian office at Herald House sealed
Building sealed day after raids
The YI office building has been sealed just a day after ED raided Herald House premises. As per officials, the passport office inside the Herald House will remain functional. On Tuesday, the probe agency searched 12 locations linked to the paper under the money laundering act. Congress workers gathered outside the Herald House in large numbers on Tuesday to protest the raids.
Police outside Sonia Gandhi's residence
Roads leading to Congress headquarters in Delhi have been barricaded and there is heavy police presence outside the office. It is believed that the ED may search the Congress headquarters in connection with the National Herald case. Police also gathered outside the residence of Sonia Gandhi only minutes after the Herald House was shut. 'Move to instill fear among opposition," MP Mallikarjun Kharge said.
'Mysterious blockade' outside Congress headquarters
Development comes days after questioning of Gandhis
This comes days after party president Gandhi underwent questioning over three days and answered over 100 questions. Early last month, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi appeared at the ED office for five days and reportedly answered 150 questions as part of the investigation under the case. Congress workers actively protested against the alleged misuse of the probe agency to attack opposition leaders.
What do we know about the case?
The Gandhis are accused of fraud and theft of funds in the purchase of the newspaper. They are accused of obtaining National Herald assets by purchasing the former publishers of the newspaper through YI, in which they had an 86% share. Notably, the Ministry of Finance is also examining a tax evasion appeal in the case, which Congress claims was closed in 2015.