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Delhi Chief Secretary alleges assault by AAP MLAs at Kejriwal's residence; govt officers threaten to go on strike

Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on Tuesday met Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and registered a complaint against two ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs for allegedly assaulting him.

Prakash alleged that he was assaulted by Ajay Dutt and Prakash Jharwal at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence on Monday evening.

The Chief Minister's office has denied the allegations and said the incident never took place. "Delhi CM office strongly denies allegations by the Chief Secretary. There was no incident of assault or attempted assault by any AAP MLAs," a statement from Kejriwal's office said.

The IAS officers' body condemned the "appalling and shocking physical assault." "We condemn and protest the physical assault by MLAs on Chief Secretary in CM's residence in presence and with consent of CM & Deputy CM. The appalling and shocking physical assault meted out to the Head of the Administration of Delhi, in the form of blows on the head, amounting to threat to life and physical safety, is deplorable," said a statement by the IAS Association of Delhi.

The IAS association said officers will continue to work but will not attend any meeting beyond office hours, outside office premises, until effective action is taken against those responsible for the incident.

Home minister Rajnath Singh said he has sought a report on the incident from Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal and assured the IAS officers' body that justice will be done in the case.

"A delegation of IAS DANICS & Subordinate Services of Delhi Government met me today (Tuesday) and apprised me of the prevailing situation. I am deeply pained by the happenings involving the Chief Secretary of the Delhi Government. The civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear," he tweeted.

AAP leader Atishi Marlena presented a different picture of what transpired on Monday. "About 2.5 lakh families were deprived of rations last month due to faulty implementation of Aadhaar. MLAs were under tremendous pressure from public. There was a meeting of MLAs at the CM's residence. The Chief Secretary refused to answer questions saying that he was answerable only to the LG and not to MLAs and CM. He even used bad language against some MLAs and left without answering any questions. Moreover, it is false information that the meeting and the argument was about TV ads. The entire discussion was on how large number of families were not getting ration," he said.

She added that Prakash's allegations are ludicrous. "Obviously, he is doing it at the BJP's behest. The BJP has stooped very low in disrupting governance in Delhi through the LG and officers. If the Chief Secretary can make such wild allegations, one can imagine the kind of obstacles that are being created in AAP government's work by BJP through the officers," she added.

Delhi BJP leader and MLA OP Sharma said his advice to the Chief Secretary would be to file an official complaint. "He (Anshu Prakash) should go to the Delhi Police and file an FIR against the MLAs. This is absolutely unacceptable in a democracy," Sharma said.

Delhi Congress Vice-President Sharmistha Mukherjee also attacked the AAP and said, "In a democracy, we expect that all disputes will be solved by dialogue. Violence against anyone, including a senior bureaucrat, is not the way to resolve anything. There should be a thorough probe into this and if the Chief Secretary's complaint is found to be true, the MLAs should receive tough punishment."

Kapil Mishra, rebel AAP MLA and former Minister in the Kejriwal cabinet, said, "This has never happened in the history of India. As an MLA, I am ashamed that this incident has taken place."