Delhi LG Anil Baijal cracks whip at CM Arvind Kejriwal, says no place for violence in democracy

New Delhi: In what could be said to be strong words, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal on Friday condemned the recent ‘unfortunate incidents’ in the national capital and said that there was no place for violence in a democracy.

“Met Honourable CM Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues. Strongly condemn the recent unfortunate incidents. Advised elected government to take steps to remove mistrust with government employees so that development of Delhi is not affected. No place for violence in a democracy,” he tweeted.

On the other hand, Kejriwal tweeted after meeting the LG, “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

Meanwhile, a Delhi Police team on Thursday descended on Kejriwal’s residence and seized a hard disk of the CCTV camera system installed there in connection with an alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by AAP MLAs.

Police claimed that its action came after its request for CCTV footage from the CM’s residence was not met.

Several policemen on Thursday went to Kejriwal’s official residence in the Civil Lines area where Prakash was allegedly assaulted in the presence of the CM on the intervening night of February 19-20.

A total of 21 CCTV cameras and a hard disk were examined by the police. The hard disk has been seized and any possibility of “tampering” with the system could be ascertained only through forensic examination, said Additional DCP (North) Harendra Singh.

“We had asked for the CCTV camera footage and hard disk on February 20 itself but there was no response. So, we decided to come down and examine it,” he said.

Singh also said that the in-charge of maintenance at the CM’s residence had been intimated about the police visit, PTI reported.

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, said the police official.

On the other hand, a Delhi court on Thursday dismissed the bail pleas of two AAP MLAs, Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, arrested for allegedly assaulting Prakash.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tondon, however, refused to grant the police their custody saying there was no new ground for custodial interrogation.

The court had on Thursday sent the MLAs to 14-day judicial custody.

The two MLAs were arrested in connection with the alleged assault on Delhi’s top bureaucrat during a meeting at Kejriwal’s residence. While Jarwal, an MLA from Deoli, was arrested on Tuesday night, Khan was taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon. 

The chief secretary has alleged in his complaint that he was sitting on a sofa flanked by Khan and another AAP MLA during the meeting.

“Khan and the other MLA, without provocation from my side started hitting and assaulting me with blows on my head and temple,” he has alleged in his complaint.

However, AAP had countered the allegation with a statement saying, “There was a meeting of MLAs at the CM’s residence. The CS refused to answer questions, saying that he was not answerable to MLAs and the CM, and that he was answerable only to the LG. He (Prakash) even used bad language against some of the MLAs and left without answering any questions.”

It had described as “false information” claims that the meeting and the argument were about TV ads.

“Now he (CS) is making such ludicrous allegations. Obviously, he is doing it at BJP’s behest. The BJP has stooped very low in disrupting governance in Delhi through the LG and officers. If the CS can make such wild allegations, one can imagine the kind of obstacles that are being created in AAP government’s work by the BJP through the officers,” it had said.

(With PTI inputs)