Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Friday termed the incident of alleged assualt of Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash as unfortunate, even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accused the Delhi police of acting like a bullly at the behest of the Centre by conducting a search at chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence. The LG's comment came after Kejriwal met him over the issue following cops seizing a hard disk of the CCTV camera system installed at CM house in connection with the alleged assault of the chief secretary by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs.
Earlier, the bail petitions of two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs, Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, who were arrested for allegedly assaulting Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, were rejected by the court on Friday. However, the court refused to grant police custody of the duo, saying there was no new ground for such interrogation.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence was searched by a police team in connection with the case. Police, however, confirmed that there were no cameras in the room where the incident reportedly took place. A senior police officer quoted by IANS said they would proceed with the probe based on the CCTV footage installed in the corridor. "Seven of the 21 CCTV cameras in the house were not functioning," he said.
Taking a dig, Kejriwal dared the Centre, asking "When will you send cops to search BJP President Amit Shah's residence in Justice Loya case?".
The capital has been gripped by a political storm after the chief secretary on Tuesday alleged that he was beaten up by two AAP MLAs in the presence of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister's residence on Monday night, where he had been called for an emergency meeting. Denying the charges of assault, the AAP has said that the chief secretary was making allegations at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Here are the top 10 developments around the political storm that has gripped AAP and Delhi:
1) Kejriwal's advisor changes statement, says saw AAP MLAs assaulted Prakash:
In fresh trouble for Kejriwal, the Delhi Police on Thursday told a Delhi court that his advisor V K Jain had given contradictory statements about the alleged attack on Prakash
. The police said that "new facts" had emerged after the interrogation of Jain, who disclosed that MLAs Prakash Jarwal and Amanutullah Khan assaulted Chief Secretary Prakash and he saw them doing so to the senior bureaucrat, additional public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tondon.
Previously, Jain had said that he had not witnessed anything because he had gone to the washroom at the time of the alleged incident on Monday night. "New facts have emerged in the case. The advisor to the CM is being interrogated and his statement under Section 164 of the CrPC has been recorded. He has given us four names. The police custody of both the MLAs is required to unearth the whole conspiracy," the prosecutor said moving a fresh plea for their custody.
2) AAP MLAs were miffed over funds for Delhi govt's publicity:
In his statement, Jain has said that when the meeting started on Monday night, Kejriwal said that the MLAs wanted to discuss certain issues. However, according to Jain, all of them randomly started questioning the chief secretary about the delay in the release of funds for the AAP government's media publicity
regarding its achievement in education and fighting corruption.
Jain was picked up by the Delhi Police on Wednesday morning from his residence at Maharani Bagh in connection with the case.
3) Bureaucrats to observe five minutes of silence every day: The tussle between the Delhi government and the bureaucracy continued for the third day on Thursday as the officials decided to observe five minutes of silence every day protesting the alleged attack on Chief Secretary Prakash. Government employees, including IAS and DANICS officers, observed a five-minute silence to express their anguish over the "breach of faith" by the political executive of the Delhi government.
The associations of all IAS, DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service), and Delhi Administration Subordinate Services (DASS) have decided that all government employees will observe a five-minute silence outside their offices on all working days at 1.30 pm.
Further, no meeting took place between officers and AAP ministers at the Delhi Secretariat. The Delhi government officers pledged to maintain only written communication with the ministers until Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would apologise over the alleged attack.
Miffed over the decision by the bureaucrats to boycott meetings with Delhi ministers, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia issued orders to the heads of his departments to submit the status of pending proposals every week in writing.
On the expiry of their one-day judicial custody, Khan and Jarwal were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tondon, who heard their bail applications and put up for hearing a fresh application filed by the Delhi police seeking their custodial interrogation to ascertain why the chief secretary was called at the midnight.
5) AAP minister, MLAs detained:
A minister in the Delhi government and several AAP MLAs were detained by the police
on Thursday while trying to stage a demonstration in front of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence at Akbar Road. They were protesting the arrest of the party's Dalit MLA, Prakash Jarwal. The detained AAP leaders and workers were taken to the Tughlaq Road and Parliament Street police stations, from where they were released subsequently.
"Our Dalit MLAs were whisked away by the police as they were attempting to stage a protest in front of Rajnath Singh's residence, while no action was taken against the BJP workers who demonstrated in front of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's residence," senior AAP leader Ashutosh told reporters.
As many as 89 persons were detained at around 12 noon, Delhi Police PRO DCP Madhur Verma said. Fourteen women and 75 men, including Delhi minister RP Gautam, five other MLAs, and six councillors of the AAP, were among those detained, he added.
6) 'Baijal a BJP agent':
The AAP has hit out at Lt Governor Anil Baijal, saying that he was "working as a BJP agent"
. The party also demanded action against those involved in "manhandling and beating up" Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain and his aide at the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday.
On Thursday, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said that his party's MLAs were being arrested over an alleged assault of which there was no proof. "But on the other hand, despite there being video footage of officials assaulting Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, there is no action taken against the guilty by the Delhi Police," the AAP MP said.
1. Does anyone actually think that Arvind Kejriwal will plot to get an IAS officer assaulted?
2. And even if we stretch our imagination to believe this - would he get this done in his own home, in his own presence at 12 midnight?!!!
- @AtishiMarlena pic.twitter.com/qdeMGO24Qp
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) February 22, 2018
7) BJP protests against 'autocratic' AAP govt:
Looking to up the ante against Kejriwal and his party, Delhi BJP workers and leaders on Thursday staged protests across the city, including at Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's residence, against the AAP government. The demonstrations were held to protest the "autocratic, anarchic and corrupt" AAP
, a statement by the Delhi BJP said.
Kuljeet Singh Chahal, general secretary of the Delhi unit of BJP, led the protest at Sisodia's residence. "People of Delhi are dejected to see the Arvind Kejriwal government violating the constitutional provisions laid by Baba Saheb Ambedkar," Chahal said.
He also accused the AAP government and Kejriwal of not acting against his MLAs who allegedly assaulted the chief secretary. "They are promoting urban naxalism mindset in the people of the city. This kind of lawlessness was never seen before in the city. Thus the Chief Minister and his ministers must resign," he said.
Watch this video how Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain was held captive in the lift at Delhi Secretariat.
Hear the mob shouting : “ बाहर निकलो, मारो “ pic.twitter.com/zQfQ2FqAw2
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) February 21, 2018
"On the basis of a baseless complaint by the Chief Secretary, two party MLAs were arrested without evidence while those who beat our ministers and their aides are roaming free," the AAP leader said.
10) AAP raises doubts over medical report:
Noting that the chief secretary's medico-legal report said he was assaulted after midnight, Ashutosh said the CCTV footage from outside the Kejriwal residence showed the top bureaucrat made his exit at 11.30 pm
Here is Delhi’s CS Anshu Prakashs’ Medical report. @tehseenp Tehseen report clearly mentions he was manhandled. Answer to your question -why did he not get his medical done if he had injuries? pic.twitter.com/WdZeBrFd55
— Rubika Liyaquat (@RubikaLiyaquat) February 21, 2018
The AAP leader said there was a possibility of an assault on Prakash by someone after he left Kejriwal's residence or he could have even fallen. "There is an unnecessary drama (going on) about it."
With agency inputs