Two AAP MLAs arrested in chief secretary assault case

SansadTV Bureau
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh with party's spokesperson Ashutosh addresses a press conference in New Delhi

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh with party’s spokesperson Ashutosh addresses a press conference in New Delhi

A Delhi Court has sent two AAP MLAs in judicial custody until Thursday in connection with the alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash during a meeting at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on February 19. AAP MLA Amantullah Khan and party legislator from Deoli, Prakash Jarwal, who was detained on Tuesday night were arrested on Wednesday.

The Delhi Police had filed an FIR on a complaint from Anshu Prakash under various sections including 120B (criminal conspiracy), 186 (obstructing a public servant from performing the duty) and 353 (assault on public servant) against AAP’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan and others.

In his complaint, Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash had alleged that he was sitting on a sofa flanked by Amantullah and another AAP MLA during the Monday night meeting, and without provocation, the two legislators “started hitting and assaulting” him “with blows on head and temple”.

During the hearing, public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava sought two days police custody of both the MLAs saying they had committed a serious crime of assaulting and humiliating the senior-most officer of the state. He also said that total of 11 persons were involved in the incident. Advocate B S Joon, appearing for both the MLAs, opposed the application for police custody and said they were ready to cooperate in the probe.

He said the charge of assaulting public servant was invoked in the FIR without conducting the medical test of the bureaucrat. Both of them are public representatives and not hardened criminals, Joon said, adding “this is a fallout of power struggle between the Centre and the NCT of Delhi.”

Arrested AAP leaders Khan and Jarwal alleged that the chief secretary was acting at the behest of the BJP and “the incident is a pretext to dismiss the AAP government”. He also accused the police for working under pressure of the Union Home Minister.

Rejecting the charges of assault on the chief secretary, AAP leader Ashutosh said the top bureaucrat has not produced evidence against Prakash Jarwal and Amanatullah Khan, and yet the two lawmakers were arrested claiming that it was an attempt to “malign” the party’s image.

Meanwhile, opposition BJP and Congress leaders have demanded a strict probe on the alleged assault. BJP and Congress delegations met Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal separately on Wednesday and sought an apology from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The central and state IAS officers have also demanded strict action against the people involved in the alleged attack.

The Home Ministry is examining a report submitted by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on the incident after Home Minister Rajnath Singh sought a report from the Lieutenant Governor on Tuesday.