New Delhi: Police on Friday searched the residence of the Delhi Chief Minister for CCTV footage of an alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by two AAP MLAs, sparking an angry reaction from Arvind Kejriwal who hit out at the central government daring it if a similar raid would be conducted at BJP President Amit Shah’s house in Judge B.H. Loya’s death case.
Delhi Police said it had given prior information to the Chief Minister about the searches. The AAP denied it, terming the action as “police raj” and “police ki dadagiri” after over 45 policemen and women surrounded Kejriwal’s residence.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Harendra Kumar Singh said police found no cameras in the drawing room where the Chief Secretary was allegedly assaulted. Seven out of the 21 CCTV cameras in the house, he said, were not functioning.
He said police will study the movement of people before and after the incident by analysing footage from CCTV cameras outside the drawing room and in the corridor.
“The timing on cameras in the house was running behind by 40 minutes 43 seconds,” Singh said, adding those responsible for maintenance of the CCTV cameras were questioned.
A forensic team was also present to collect evidence of the alleged assault. They will examine why seven cameras were non-functional.
Police officials said they would decide if they needed to question the Chief Minister and his deputy Manish Sisodia who were present on Monday night when the top bureaucrat was allegedly slapped by legislators Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal — who have been arrested and are in Tihar Jail.
Singh said CCTV footage was sought a day after the incident but there was no response from the Chief Minister’s house forcing police to conduct the search operation.
Kejriwal told reporters outside his residence that he was “happy that the investigation is taking place” but dared the central government if probe agencies can muster the “courage to question Amit Shah” in the Judge Loya death case.
“To investigate two alleged slaps, the police search a Chief Minister’s house. Doesn’t Judge Loya’s murder merit an interrogation,” Kejriwal tweeted, referring to the judge who died of a heart attack in December 2014 at a time he was handling the Sohrabuddin case in which Shah was an accused.
Addressing a rally here later, Kejriwal alleged that the central government was hampering the development work and files related to electricity and water supply in the city were stuck with bureaucrats.
In the same rally, AAP MLA Naresh Balyan justified the assault on the Chief Secretary, saying anyone obstructing the work for the common man deserved a beating.
Meanwhile, a Delhi court dismissed the bail pleas of Khan and Jarwal. Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tondon also refused to give their custody to Police saying there was no new ground for custodial interrogation.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the party would hold protests against the “dictatorship” of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the centre.
Hitting back at the AAP, the BJP said “anarchist” Kejriwal had created a “Constitutional crisis” in the capital.
Kejriwal also met Lt Governor Anil Baijal and asked for his intervention as bureaucrats had stopped meeting or talking to the Chief Minister, his ministers or MLAs.
“Officers not attending meetings for the last three days. Governance suffering…LG assured he will take all steps to ensure officers start functioning normally… All of us need to work together for betterment of Delhi,” Kejriwal said.
Meanwhile, Baijal “strongly” condemned the incident and advised the “elected government to take steps to remove mistrust with government employees so that development of Delhi is not affected”.
Earlier in the day, the IAS association met Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh, demanding clear guidelines for functioning of the administration.
“We should give them a work-friendly environment. We should be able to get the best out of our officers and we must enable them to perform to the best of their performance in the interest of the nation,” Jitendra Singh said after meeting the IAS delegation.