NEW DELHI: The Capital 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.