Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attacked with chilli powder outside office

Vastavam web: A man flung chilli powder at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal outside his office in the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday, an attack the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) described as “politically motivated”, while asserting that the BJP is hatching a conspiracy in collusion with the Delhi Police to attack the CM. Even as the AAP alleged that it was the third attack on Kejriwal, Delhi Police, however, issued a statement recounting the incident but did not specify whether the man threw chilli powder or not. The statement mentioned that the man, Anil Kumar Sharma, possessed a pouch which apparently contained chilli powder.

Later in the night, the Delhi Police registered a case against Sharma at the IP Estate police station, a senior police officer said. He, however, added that no formal complaint was received from the secretariat. Sharma, the accused, has been arrested, he said, adding that the case has been taken up for investigation because the accused threatened the chief minister.

A joint interrogation by IB, Special Cell and local police was conducted which revealed that the accused was unstable and incoherent, the officer said. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said his party would not be “cowed” by these “petty tactics” of the BJP. The BJP hit back with its Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari terming the attack a “drama” and calling for a high-level inquiry into it.

The Delhi government issued a rejoinder, accusing the Delhi Police of “lying on record” about the “premeditated attack” on the Delhi chief minister inside the Secretariat. “Instead of owning up its serious lapses, the Delhi Police is spreading lies under political pressure,” the government said, adding that it would explore all legal options to deal with the situation.

A purported CCTV footage of the incident showed Kejriwal was being accompanied by his staff outside his office at third floor of the Delhi Secretariat. The accused could be seen approaching him without any check and handing him some papers that Kejriwal gave to his staff. The accused could be seen bending down to touch Kejriwal’s feet and then suddenly lunging at him. However, in a statement issued later, the Delhi Police said the incident took place around 2.25 pm on the third floor of the Delhi Secretariat. “When the CM was coming out of his chamber, one person later identified as Anil tried to hand over his complaint to the chief minister who in turn passed it on to a staff member,” it said.

Subsequently, security personnel took the 40-year-old accused aside and found him carrying a pouch in his hand, which apparently contained chilli powder, it said. “Sharma was visiting the Secretariat with reference of some staff. He has been detained for further questioning,” the statement added.Sources said Sharma managed to gain entry into the Delhi Secretariat after being issued a pass to go to the PGMS unit of the government. They said he had apparently gone to seek help for an ailing relative. While the AAP blamed the BJP for the alleged attack, Delhi unit chief of the saffron party Manoj Tiwari said such incidents “cannot be tolerated or justified by anybody” and called for a high-level probe.

Sharma, whose Aadhaar card was recovered, brought the chilli powder to the secretariat in packets of ‘khaini’, or chewing tobacco, they said. After throwing red pepper powder on Kejriwal, Sharma threatened to shoot him after he comes out of jail, an official recounted. The incident took place outside the chief minister’s chamber on the third floor when he was leaving for lunch. AAP’s national spokesperson Raghav Chadha, who was behind Kejriwal when the incident took place, tweeted, “Was right behind CM @ArvindKejriwal at the Secretariat when he was suddenly attacked, on 3rd floor right outside his office. Shocking lapse of security. Is this Delhi Police’s incompetent effort to protect an elected CM?”

In another tweet, Chadha said, “While today just the CM’s glasses fell to the floor and broke, an unacceptable security lapse nonetheless. Imagine if attacker were to be wielding a more dangerous weapon. Who were to have prevented a tragedy from occurring?”