‘Assault’ on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash: Two AAP MLAs Get Two-Day Judicial Custody

AAP cries foul, says action not being taken on its counter-complaints; BJP, Congress delegations meet L-G to demand the protection of officers and action against hooligans.

A day after Delhi chief secretary complained that he was assaulted by Aam Aadmi Party MLAs at chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence during a meeting late night on February 19, the Delhi police produced the two MLAs in question – Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal – before a city court which remanded them to two days’ judicial custody.

Following Anshu Prakash’s complaint, the Delhi police had registered a case at Civil Lines police station on the sections of Indian Penal Code pertaining to wrongful restraint, criminal intimidation, causing hurt, criminal conspiracy, insult and obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty. The police subsequently arrested Jarwal, the MLA from Deoli, from near Defence Colony late Tuesday night. They could not trace Khan immediately but did not have to wait too long for him as he himself `surrendered’ at the Okhla police station in his constituency in the morning.

Khan had earlier tweeted that the allegations against him were “baseless and fabricated”.

On reaching the police station with his supporters, Khan also insisted that he has “not done anything wrong”. He told reporters that while the BJP and the Congress were demanding dismissal of the AAP government, “there is no proof that the chief secretary was beaten up. On the contrary, our minister was beaten up, our volunteers were targeted but there is no action on this.”

Jarwal had yesterday also lodged a complaint against Prakash with the Delhi Police accusing him of using “bad language” against the MLAs in the meeting. He and another party MLA, Ajay Dutt, also accused the chief secretary of making casteist remarks against them.

Jarwal was quoted by news agency ANI as saying: “We had asked him (Anshu Prakash) about an area where people were not getting basic facilities like medicine when the chief secretary suddenly shouted ‘Maine Daliton ki thekedaari nahi le rakhi hai‘ (I haven’t taken responsibility for Dalits). He said, ‘You are not fit to be MLA, I will only reply to LG’.”

However, the police has taken action on Prakash’s complaint. In his complaint, Prakash had identified Khan, who was sitting on his right during the meeting, as one of his assailants. The second MLA who assaulted him, he told the police,  he could identify him if shown a photograph. Upon being photographs, Prakash identified Jarwal.

Both Jarwal and Khan were produced at the Tees Hazari court where the Delhi police sought custody. But its application was dismissed and the court remanded the two MLAs to judicial custody.

The police have also questioned Kejriwal’s adviser, V.K. Jain, who Prakash had stated in his complaint had called him for the meeting and had also escorted him from his car to the meeting room at Kejriwal’s residence. In the meantime, the police have also received Prakash’s medical report, which confirms cuts and swelling on his face.

Prakash had alleged that he was dealt “blows on his head and temple” by the MLAs during the assault.

During the day, an application was also moved in the Delhi high court for judicial intervention but the court said that the police should take action “in accordance with law”.

Political reactions

Meanwhile, politics around the episode continued unabated.

AAP national spokesperson Adarsh Shastri questioned how the time in the complaint is being shown as past midnight as, according to her, Prakash had left the chief minister’s residence at 11-30 pm. This issue was also raised by party MP Sanjay Singh.

AAP spokesperson Atishi Marlena also tweeted two questions around the incident.

The party also raised the issue of why no action being taken by the police on the complaints of minister Imran Husain and Delhi Dialogue Commission chairperson Ashish Khetan regarding the recent assault on them in the Delhi Secretariat.

The Congress and BJP leaders met Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal during the day and sought the dismissal of the Kejriwal government.

Delhi unit president and former chief minister Sheila Dikshit was a part of the Congress delegation. Ajay Maken later tweeted that the delegation had demanded the protection of officers and action against hooligans.

The BJP delegation, led by leader of party in the Delhi assembly Vijender Gupta, accused Kejriwal of leaving for Madurai at a time when Delhi had been plunged into a crisis.

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