In CCTV footage, Anshu Prakash is seen leaving Arvind Kejriwal's home.
New Delhi: Security footage of Delhi's top bureaucrat leaving Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's home late last night has become pivotal to a new, unprecedented confrontation in the capital. Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash has alleged that he was assaulted by two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lawmakers in presence of the chief minister after being called for a meeting at midnight. He has also filed an FIR or police complaint. The ruling party referred to the CCTV footage to allege that Anshu Prakash was lying about the assault. One of its leaders, Ashish Khetan, also alleged that it was he who had been manhandled during a protest by officers at the Delhi Secretariat by officers. The protest continued till evening as hundreds of officers marched to Mr Kejriwal's home with candles.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this big story:
- Late evening, the police, which has registered cross-cases filed by the AAP lawmakers and the top bureaucrat, later detained AAP lawmaker Prakash Jarwal for questioning about the alleged assault.
- In his complaint, Anshu Prakash says "the assault was premeditated and in conspiracy of all present... None of the persons present in the room made any effort to save me." Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked for a report. According to the chief secretary, he was summoned to Mr Kejriwal's home at midnight to discuss delays in the release of TV ads on three years of AAP. The Chief Minister's office, he says, called repeatedly to make sure he would comply.
- Besides Mr Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, there were around 11 MLAs when he arrived for the meeting, he said, and one of the MLAs "firmly shut the door".
- The chief secretary says he was seated between two MLAs and asked by Mr Kejriwal to explain the delay in releasing a three-year anniversary TV campaign. Soon, the MLAs shouted at him and threatened him, he alleged. "One MLA, whom I can identify, threatened that I will be confined in the room for the entire night unless I agree to release the TV campaign," he said.
- Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, who flanked the bureaucrat, "started hitting and assaulting me and hit several blows with fists on my head and temple," alleges Mr Prakash, who drove straight to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal's house to complain.
- The IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers' association has demanded the arrest of the AAP lawmakers. In the evening, the Delhi IAS association said bureaucrats will boycott all meetings called by ministers till the chief minister apologises. Some 200 IAS officers also held a candlelight march from Raj Ghat to the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday evening.
- AAP calls the allegations "ludicrous"; it says the chief secretary had been called at 10 pm but he came two hours late for discussions on a subject that was "deeply worrying" for MLAs - the faulty implementation of Aadhaar that left lakhs without food. The ruling party denied that its meeting was on ads.
- "He even used bad language against some MLAs and left without answering any questions," said AAP in tweets. A leader said the CCTV footage proves that Mr Prakash was "perfectly fine" when he left the residence and was "even followed by an MLA who tried to talk to him".
- Ties between AAP and Delhi bureaucrats have been strained since the party came to power in 2015 because of an incessant power tussle. The Delhi government has no control over important departments like law and order, land and police. AAP accuses the Lieutenant Governor and bureaucrats of obstructing it at every turn on the orders of the BJP-led central government.
- The timing of the controversy couldn't have been worse for Mr Kejriwal's party, which is fighting the disqualification of 20 lawmakers for holding "offices of profit". If it loses in court, by-elections will be held for those seats.
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