MLA Arrested, Delhi Bureaucrats On Protest Over Alleged Assault: 10 Facts

Prakash Jarwal was arrested late Tuesday night. Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash had accused the two lawmakers of assaulting him at a midnight meeting convened by Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, a charge that drew a sharp reaction from leading bodies of government officials.


Chief Secretary of Delhi Anshu Prakash is seen leaving Arvind Kejriwal's home in CCTV footage

New Delhi:  The unprecedented confrontation between Delhi bureaucrats and the Aam Aadmi Party over the alleged assault of the city's top official Anshu Prakash by the ruling party's lawmakers is set to escalate. Encouraged by their colleagues elsewhere rallying behind them, the city officials decided to step up their protest late on Tuesday evening and declared that the city's bureaucrats would not attend any meetings called by any Delhi Minister unless Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal "admits and apologises"for the assault on the Chief Secretary. The boycott call came around the same time that a police team detained an AAP lawmaker for the assault.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this big story:
  1. A Delhi Police team arrested AAP lawmaker Prakash Jarwal, from his south Delhi house late on Tuesday, on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash's police complaint. A strong contingent of policemen deployed outside lawmaker Amanatullah Khan's house in Okhla triggered speculation that he could be next. Police are looking for Mr Khan.
  2. The Chief Secretary had accused the two lawmakers of assaulting him at a midnight meeting convened by Mr Kejriwal on Monday, a charge that drew a sharp reaction from leading bodies of government officials. The central IAS association called the alleged attack an "assault on the Constitution".
  3. The central IAS association's strong support came soon after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appeared to tweet his support to the bureaucrats, saying he was "deeply pained by the happenings" involving the Chief Secretary.
  4. "Civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear," the Home Minister said after meeting a delegation of bureaucrats working with the Delhi government. He also asked Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to for a report on the incident. AAP leaders later claimed that it was unfair that the Home Minister had not given them time but given a statement after hearing one side of the story.
  5. The BJP and Congress have been sharply critical of Mr Kejriwal and the AAP lawmakers. Delhi BJP's Manoj Tiwari called the AAP lawmakers "goons" and the assault an "act of urban naxalism". Ajay Maken, the Delhi Congress chief, asked the Chief Minister to apologise. "It will be a very dangerous situation if Delhi goes towards administrative paralysis," he said.
  6. In his police complaint, Mr Prakash had alleged that the midnight meeting was called to force him to clear release of TV ads on three years of AAP and described the assault as "pre-meditated and in conspiracy of all present". This means the Chief Minister, his deputy Manish Sisodia and nine other lawmakers could also face criminal action in this case.
  7. AAP, the city's ruling party alleges Anshu Prakash was lying not only about the assault but also the topic of discussion. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said the meeting was called to discuss a way to ensure 2.5 lakh people left out due to the Aadhaar-based distribution could receive cheap subsidised rations.
  8. AAP also insisted that the top bureaucrats were acting at the behest of the BJP which is in power at the centre. If chief secretary Anshu Prakash can level such "wild allegations" against the Chief Minister and others, "one can imagine the kind of obstacles that are being created... by the BJP through officers", the party spokesperson said.
  9. AAP has questioned the police going on an overdrive to target its lawmakers but asked why no action had been taken against Chief Secretary, who allegedly violated the scheduled caste atrocity law, or the crowd that entered Delhi Secretariat and mobbed Delhi Minister Imran Hussain.
  10. 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.

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Delhi Police arrests AAP lawmaker Prakash Jarwal
Delhi Police look for AAP lawmaker Amanatullah Khan
AAP lawmakers allegedly assaulted Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash

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