The National Capital Delhi on Tuesday witnessed an unprecedented showdown between IAS officers and Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers after it emerged that Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was allegedly assaulted by two MLAs in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal late on Monday night.
Prakash was participating in a meeting at 11.30 pm at Kejriwal’s residence to discuss a TV advertisement campaign to mark the completion of three years of the AAP rule, when the shocking incident happened.
Prakash later identified the assaulters as Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal. AAP though brushed his allegation aside as bizarre.
Based on Prakash’s complaint, the Delhi Police on Tuesday filed a case under nine IPC sections, including 186 (obstructing a public servant from performing the duty), 353 (assaulting a public servant) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).
Prakash, a 1986-batch IAS officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, alleged that at the meeting, an attempt was made to coerce him to follow “unlawful directions”.
“The MLAs started shouting at me and abused me while blaming me and the bureaucracy for not giving enough publicity to the government.” One of the MLAs, he alleged, threatened him, saying he (Prakash) would be confined to the room for the entire night if he did not agree to release the TV campaign, Prakash added.
“Khan and another MLA on my left whom I can identify (Jarwal), without any provocation from my side, started hitting and assaulting me. They rained several blows with fists on my head and temple,” he claimed.
Angered over the assault, employees at the Delhi secretariat were getting worked up when minister Imran Hussain drove in and the crowd manhandled him. A video surfaced later showing people shouting ‘maro, maro’ (beat him) and abusing the minister. Hours after Hussain lodged a complaint, the police filed an FIR.
All bureaucrats in Delhi showed full solidarity with Prakash. They decided to boycott all meetings called by Delhi ministers till Kejriwal tendered an unqualified apology. In a late-night action, the police detained MLA Jarwal.
AAP MLA Ajay Dutt claimed Chief secretary Prakash used derogatory language during the meeting.
Meanwhile, the IAS Association led by Manisha Saxena met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, who assured them that justice would be done.
“I am deeply pained by the happenings involving the Chief Secretary of the Delhi Government. The civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear,’’ Singh tweeted.
The Opposition parties also attacked Kejriwal’s government and protested outside his residence. “Finally the Urban Naxalite face of Arvind Kejriwal is out in the open. The violence unleashed on the Delhi Chief Secretary by AAP MLAs exposes the anarchic behaviour of the Kejriwal party,” said Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said.
Meanwhile, reacting on the issue, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken termed the assault on the Chief Secretary as unfortunate. “The incident highlights the misgovernance and the unconstitutional rule of the AAP government,” he said.
Here are the top 10 facts in the matter:1) AAP MLA arrested:
AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal was arrested by police on Tuesday night in connection with the alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, an AAP leader said. "One AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal has been arrested by Delhi Police on a frivolous complaint by IAS," AAP chief Spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said in a tweet. "Delhi Police arrested elected MLA without any evidence. What about arrest of IAS officers who can be seen beating Minister in Secretariat? There is FIR by minister as well as video evidence, but no arrests," he added. 2) MHA seeks report:
After the news broke and sparked a political war of words, the Union home ministry on Tuesday sought a report from Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on the alleged assault on the Delhi chief secretary. In its communication, the ministry asked the LG to submit a detailed report on the alleged attack on Prakash at the residence of Kejriwal on Monday night. The home minister would also meet a delegation of IAS officers of the Delhi government, a ministry official said. "The home ministry is aware of the development and is closely monitoring the situation," the official said. "I am deeply pained by the happenings involving the chief secretary of the Delhi government. The civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear," the home minister tweeted, adding that "justice will be done".3) 'AAP wanted to put pressure for TV ads':
A delegation of officers from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service) and subordinate services of the Delhi government, which included the Delhi chief secretary, met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday. The bureaucrats, some of whom also held a candlelight vigil in the evening, alleged that the attack on Prakash was "pre-planned and pre-meditated". IAS, DANICS associations, along with the Delhi Administration Subordinate Services, alleged that the meeting, which led to the alleged assault on Prakash, was called on Monday night to put pressure on the chief secretary to release publicity material regarding achievements of the AAP government, in violation of the Supreme court guidelines. The meeting was devoid of any emergency or public interest, they claimed. 4) Civil servants won't attend Delhi government meetings:
All three associations -- IAS, DANICS and DASS -- have decided not to attend any meeting called by the Delhi government till an apology is tendered by Chief Minister Kejriwal and action is taken against the MLAs involved in the alleged assault on Prakash, news agency ANI reported. Stating that in public interest, officers and staff would continue to work in their offices, the IAS Association Delhi underlined that in the wake of the alleged assault, no officer would attend meetings beyond office hours or outside office premises until such time as an effective action is taken against all the people behind the alleged incident. 5) Delhi government minister mobbed:
Utter chaos unfolded inside the secretariat in Delhi on Tuesday as Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain was mobbed by over a hundred officials and staff, hours after Prakash was allegedly manhandled at the chief minister's residence. Officials and staff of the Delhi government raised slogans and prevented Hussain from taking the elevator to his sixth-floor office at the secretariat on Tuesday afternoon. Later, the police had to escort the minister to his office, sources said. About the incident, Hussain said, "I don't know whether they were government employees, but I will identify them."
The minister later filed a complaint with the IP Estate Police Station alleging that he was assaulted. The AAP government also released a video showing Hussain being roughed up while his APA Himanshu Singh was thrashed by a section of the agitating staff. However, Deepak Bharadwaj, general secretary of the Delhi Government Employees Association, refuted the allegations and claimed that the minister arrived when sloganeering was going on but nobody manhandled him. 6) Anshu Prakash says he was threatened with false cases:
In his complaint, the chief secretary alleged that the assault on him at the camp office situated at the chief minister's residence in North Delhi's Flag Staff Road on Monday night was "premeditated" and a conspiracy of all those who were present at the meeting there. In his complaint to DCP (North) seeking action, Prakash said that the AAP MLAs "threatened to implicate" him in false cases if the issue of releasing TV advertisements about the AAP government's achievements was not resolved. The Chief Secretary also alleged that he was threatened that he would be implicated under the Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act. 7) AAP asks why Anshu Prakash was not arrested:
The AAP has raised questions over why the Delhi chief secretary has not been arrested after the Delhi Police detained its Deoli MLA Prakash Jarwal in connection with the alleged assault on Anshu Prakash. Talking to ANI, AAP Councillor Prem Chauhan said, "He (Prakash Jarwal) went to police station earlier in the day and met Station House Officer (SHO). What was the need of detaining him in a hurried manner in the night?" He questioned why the police did not arrest the chief secretary as the same complaint was also lodged against him. "We lodged the same complaint against the chief secretary. Has he been arrested? Is he above the democracy? He also comes under the ambit of law. When action was not taken on our complaint then why such a swift action has been taken on his complaint," the AAP councillor questioned. The AAP said that Prakash was called to the chief minister's office for a discussion on ration.
"There was a meeting of MLAs at the CM's residence. The CS refused to answer questions, saying that he was not answerable to MLAs and the CM, and that he was answerable only to the LG. He (Prakash) even used bad language against some of the MLAs and left without answering any questions," the party claimed in a statement. AAP MLA Ajay Dutt, who was present at the midnight meeting, in an email to the commissioner of police alleged that the Chief Secretary "abused" and used "casteist" slurs against him and another legislator Prakash Jarwal. 8) Prakash skips Cabinet meeting:
Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on Tuesday did not attend the Delhi Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Two major decisions were taken at the meeting, held at the chief minister's residence, as the atmosphere at the secretariat was "not conducive", Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters. The chief secretary is also the cabinet secretary. A senior official said, "It (cabinet meeting) was not attended by the chief secretary. Instead, the acting chief secretary (Manoj Kumar Parida) attended the Cabinet meeting."9) BJP calls AAP leaders 'urban naxalites':
A war of words erupted on Tuesday between the AAP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash. BJP leader Vijender Gupta, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, alleged that Kejriwal, "in his dictatorial style", called the Chief Secretary at midnight on Monday and "berated" him in front of his MLAs, an allegation AAP said was "ludicrous". "Drunk on power CM (Chief Minister) was concerned about why more funds were not disbursed for advertisements. Such is the state of affairs under AAP," Gupta tweeted. "In total, nine AAP MLAs were present at the CM's residence when the Chief Secretary was assaulted. They represent people of Delhi but are nothing short of urban naxalites. How utterly disgusting behaviour!" he said. 10) Congress says the situation may turn 'dangerous':
Speaking about the alleged incident, Congress leader Ajay Maken, according to news agency ANI, said: "It will be a very dangerous situation if Delhi goes towards administrative paralysis. LG should immediately meet Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Confidence should be restored among administrative officers."