Drama ensued as the AAP accused the cops of acting as a bully at the behest of the Centre.
In an unprecedented move, a Delhi Police team on Friday swooped down on the residence of Arvind Kejriwal and seized a hard disk containing CCTV footage in connection with the chief secretary ‘assault’ incident even as the chief minister knocked the Lt Governor’s doors to ensure government work is not hit due to the boycott by bureaucrats.
A total of 21 CCTV cameras and a hard disk were examined by the police. The hard disk was seized and any possibility of “tampering” with the system could be ascertained only after forensic examination, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Harendra Singh said.
WATCH: Cops attempt to retrieve CCTV footage from Kejriwal's residence
Fourteen CCTV cameras were running while seven were not working. Also, there was a time lag of 40-43 minutes with respect to the time of the alleged incident, the official said.
Reacting to the search, the AAP chief Kejriwal said, “A huge posse of policemen was sent to my residence. The entire CM residence is being searched over allegations of two slaps.”
“But when will Amit Shah be questioned in connection with Judge Loya’s death,” he asked on Twitter.
Miffed by the move, the Aam Aadmi Party accused the Delhi Police of acting like a bully at the behest of the Centre by entering the chief minister’s house “illegally” and said the action was aimed at “insulting and humiliating” him.
Without taking the name of Bharatiya Janata Party and its leaders, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said it is “unfortunate” that some “dictators” and people with a mentality of “hooligans” have captured power, be it Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh.
“The dadagiri by the Delhi Police at Arvind Kejriwal’s residence is being done at the behest of the BJP. The Delhi Police is a mere puppet but the Centre is resorting to such dadagiri to dismiss the Delhi government,” Singh said.
In a press conference, the AAP also showed a two-and-half-minute clip where senior police officials are seen inside the residence of the chief minister, purportedly asking questions about the wall paint of the room.
Police claimed that its action (of dispatching a posse to Kejriwal’s house to collect evidence) came after its request for CCTV footage from the chief minister’s residence “was not met”.
WATCH: Seized footage of 21 CCTV cameras: ADGP North Delhi
Several policemen went to Kejriwal’s official residence in the Civil Lines area where Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was allegedly assaulted in the presence of the chief minister on Monday night.
Both Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia met Anil Baijal and said the Lt Governor assured them that he will take all steps to ensure officers start functioning normally.
Bureaucrats of the Delhi government had earlier decided to boycott all meetings called by the ministers.
“Officers not attending meetings for last 3 days. Governance suffering. I m v concerned. LG assured he will take all steps to ensure officers started functioning normally. Council of ministers assured him all cooperation. All of us need to work together for betterment of Delhi,” Kejriwal tweeted after the meeting.
Sisodia said Baijal assured them that he will speak to the bureaucrats.
However, the LG sent out a very strong statement after the meeting.
“The Lt Governor strongly condemned the incidents and termed them as most unfortunate. The Lt Governor noted that no government can fulfil its promises to the people if the employees feel demoralised and insecure.
“There is no place for violence in a democratic and civilised society. Steps need to be taken to remove the mistrust between the government employees and the elected government, so that the development of Delhi and public interest do not get adversely affected,” an official statement from the LG’s office said.
Meanwhile, a delegation of IAS officers working under the Delhi government also met Union minister Jitendra Singh and put forward their grievances following the alleged attack on Prakash.
After the meeting, Singh said, “We have heard the members of the delegation. We took cognisance of all the grievances and concerns raised by them and necessary steps would be taken on it.”
The officers have submitted a memorandum mentioning some of their demands and necessary action will be taken on it, he said Singh.
The BJP launched an attack against Kejriwal and said his decision to call the state’s chief secretary at his residence and the alleged physical assault on him was a case of “bullying and thuggery”.