Delhi Police on Friday searched Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal‘s residence and seized hard disks containing recordings of 21 CCTV cameras.
The police team, including cyber crime and forensics experts, had gone to collect evidence related to the alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by AAP MLAs at Kejriwal’s residence on Monday night.
In another related development, a Delhi Court on Friday rejected the bail plea of the two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs, Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, in connection with the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash. Stating that there was no new ground for custodial interrogation, Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tondon said both will remain in 14-days judicial custody.
Chief Secretary Prakash in a complaint to Delhi Police on Tuesday alleged that he was beaten up by two MLAs the presence of Kejriwal at the latter’s residence on Monday night where he had been called for an emergency meeting.
While Jarwal, an MLA from Deoli, was arrested from Defence Colony on Tuesday night, Khan was taken into custody after he came to Jamia Nagar police station with his supporters on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Police carried out searches at Kejriwal’s residence and seized hard drives of 21 CCTV cameras, seven of which were found non-functional.
This is the first time Delhi Police has conducted a search operation at a chief minister’s residence.
“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,” Kejriwal wrote in a Tweet.
ख़ूब पूलीस मेरे घर भेजी है। मेरे घर की छानबीन चल रही है। बहुत अच्छी बात है।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 23, 2018
पर जज लोया के क़त्ल के मामले में अमित शाह से पूछताछ कब होगी?
Speaking at a public meeting later in the day, he also said, “If you say anything to officers, they get upset. I fight for you but these people – BJP, L-G, officers – obstruct me. I fight but for people.”
Kejriwal wrote on Twitter that his council of ministers had sought an appointment with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
With regard to the search at Kejriwal’s residence, Additional deputy commissioner of police Harender Singh said all the 21 cameras found at the CM’s residence were slow by 40 minutes and 42 seconds. “The complaint says the assault happened between 12 midnight and 12.30am on Tuesday,” Singh said. The footage of one CCTV camera showed the chief secretary leaving CM’s residence around 11.30pm on Monday.
The additional DCP said the visit to the CM’s residence was carried out after informing the people in-charge of the maintenance of the place. He denied reports that the CM was forced to sit for 40 minutes. “We haven’t even interacted with the chief minister,” the officer said.
He said that 7 CCTV cameras were not switched on when police found them. “Our forensic team will be able to say when, and under what circumstances, the recording was stopped,” he said.
Singh also said the police examined the room where the alleged assault happened to ensure it had not been repaired, repainted or any previous CCTV cameras had not been removed. He said the corridor outside the alleged crime spot had cameras and the footage will be examined to check the movement of people before and after the alleged assault. The personnel responsible for maintenance of CCTVs were also questioned by the cops.
The officer said police were compelled to visit the CM’s residence after investigators’ attempts to seek CCTV footage on February 20 were met with no response.
At the police team reached the CM’s residence, Delhi government spokesperson Arunoday Prakash called the search an attempt to humiliate the CM alleging that the policemen entered the chief minister’s office “without any intimation”.
“CM house taken over by police. Huge number of police force enters CM house without any intimation. Police Raj kills democracy in Delhi. Police spread all over inside CM house. If this what they can to do an elected CM, think what they can with poor people!!!” Prakash wrote on Twitter.
“There is minimum courtesy in democracy. Every citizen has rights under constitution. Is it an attempt to humiliate a CM who is working tirelessly for the poor and the last man of the society?” he tweeted.
AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey said the Kejriwal government was being targeted by the BJP at the Centre. “The whole house (CM residence) was turned into a fortress to investigate the allegations of two slaps. But no action has been taken over attack on AAP leaders despite evidence. What else does one need to prove that BJP is selectively targeting Kejriwal government,” he said.
AAP leaders also held a press conference, in which they 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. AAP’s Sanjay Singh tweeted, “Without Modi government’s directive, the police could not have indulged in such ‘dadagiri’.”
Asserting that the BJP government and PM Modi will face the consequences of their actions in 2019 general elections, Singh said, “How is it that the Delhi police can investigate at the CMs residence, something we have no issues with, but why has there been no investigation into the attack of our minister even after we identified the accused.”
“This is the police’s dadagiri. Today it’s happening with us (AAP), tomorrow it’ll happen at each home. They stripped Dalits in Gujarat, beat up siblings in the name of anti-Romeo squad in UP. They have an LG in Bengal who has meetings with officials,” Singh said in a tweet.