New Delhi: Delhi Chief Secretary, Anshu Prakash on Tuesday, filed an FIR with the Delhi police, allegedly claiming that he was hit by two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs in a meeting at the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence. AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal detained in a midnight crackdown. Tension only escalated further when the fracas the night before triggered a row later on Tuesday evening when the Environment Minister Imran Hussain was allegedly manhandled by AAP officials and others in the crowd inside the Delhi Secretariat.
The incident caused massive attacks towards AAP by the BJP and Congress with the former demanding for the chief minister’s resignation and latter asking the chief of the party to apologize. The AAP hit back by stating that the Chief Secretary was making false allegations and said he was working at the “behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”.
Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi called Prakash’s allegations “baseless” and said it is his version of the story. The Home Ministry has asked for a report from Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary and Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was “deeply pained” by the development. Monday night’s meeting had turned into a heated affair but the chief secretary was not attacked, AAP sources told news agency IANS.
Prakash alleged that he was hit by AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan and other party MLAs in front of the chief minister. He said that he can identify the culprit. Prakash has filed a police complaint, where he states, “Amanatullah Khan, MLA, and the person/MLA on my left side, whom I can identify, without any provocation from my side, starting hitting and assaulted me and threw several blows with fists on my head and temple.” The meeting was attended by Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, and 11 MLAs, according to the complaint.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Delhi Environment Minister was manhandled by a crowd outside an elevator in the Delhi Secretariat and his Assistant Personal Secretary was also beaten up, as per the videos from the Secretariat. In one of the videos, his Assistant Personal Secretary can be seen being manhandled by the crowd near the lift door. In the same video, Hussain was seen being manhandled by the crowd and later taken to safety by staff, as the violent crowd tried to reach him. Hussain was seen trapped inside the elevator with the violent crowd shouting slogans and asking him to come out, in another video. One person was standing outside the lift blocking the crowd from getting inside and securing the minister’s safety.
AAP leader Ashish Khetan alleged that he was also manhandled by the same crowd shouting “BJP zindabad” and “maaro maaro” and claimed that the Delhi Police did not try to intervene. Khetan said that the Secretariat was supposed to be a “high-security zone” and alleged that the Delhi Police did not do anything when the mob tried to attack him and later Hussain.
“Under whose instructions did this happen? Who instigated them?” he asked while addressing the media. Khetan and Hussain filed separate police complaints on the assaults. The Chief Secretary in his police complaint said that he was called for a meeting around midnight on Monday on the “difficulty in the release of certain TV advertisements relating to completion of three years of the government of Delhi”. Prakash said he was taken to a room and one of the MLAs closed the door. He was seated on a three-seater sofa between Khan and another MLA, whom he could identify.
“The MLAs started shouting at me and abused me while blaming me and the bureaucracy for not doing enough for the publicity of the government,” the complaint said. Prakash said that he was attacked after this without any provocation. “With difficulty, I was able to leave the room and get into my official car and leave the CM residence,” the Chief Secretary said. “None of the persons present in the room made any effort to save me.”
But the AAP said that the meeting at Kejriwal’s residence was on the “faulty implementation” of Aadhaar that “deprived about 2.5 lakh families of ration” and not on advertisements. The party said that the Chief Secretary refused to answer questions, saying he was not answerable to MLAs or the Chief Minister but only to the Lt Governor. “He even used foul language against some MLAs and left without answering any questions,” the AAP said in a statement.
On Tuesday afternoon, IAS Association Secretary Manisha Saxena, after a meeting with the Lt Governor and Prakash, termed the attack as a “planned criminal conspiracy” against the top bureaucrat in Delhi. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Saxena said they have asked the Lt Governor to take strict action against the accused MLAs and the officers would work on Tuesday with a black band as a mark of protest.