The Delhi government on Tuesday lashed out at the police after officials initially said they were investigating whether an alleged chilli powder attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the afternoon was intentional. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs controls the police in the Capital.
“It is extremely shocking that Delhi Police is lying on record about premeditated attack on Delhi CM inside Secretariat today,” ANI quoted the government as saying. “Security of Delhi Secretariat is responsibility of Delhi Police and there have been numerous incidents of security breaches in the recent past.”
The government said the police were lying instead of owning responsibility for the security lapse. “Will they answer – can anyone enter the secretariat with a packet of chilli powder and matchbox unchecked? Is there any checking done of people entering the Secretariat?”
Kejriwal was on his way to lunch at 2.25 pm, when a man gave him a slip outside his office on the third floor. The man, identified as Anil Kumar Sharma, tried to attack Kejriwal while he passed on the slip to his personal secretary, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma told ANI. At that moment, a packet of chilli powder fell from his hand.
At a press conference moments after the attack, Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson and legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj accused the police of not ensuring proper security at the secretariat. “How can any random person walk into the secretariat and attack the chief minister?” Bharadwaj asked at a press conference soon after the incident. “Arvind Kejriwal has faced many such attacks on regular basis.”
The MLA claimed the incident was “directly connected to the BJP” and accused the Narendra Modi government of offering “full protection to the accused”. The party’s spokesperson claimed that BJP MP Manoj Tiwari had attempted to incite a mob to attack Kejriwal at the inauguration of a bridge on November 4.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also blamed the saffron party and said they had conspired with the police to attack Kejriwal, PTI reported.
“The BJP in collusion with Delhi Police is hatching a conspiracy to attack the chief minister,” Sisodia told reporters. “The attack surprisingly took place at a high security area. A series of attacks have taken place on the chief minister. Recently, BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari, along with BJP goons, managed to reach near the stage during the inauguration of the Signature bridge and water bottles were thrown at him.”
AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said, “Imagine if the attacker was wielding a more dangerous weapon. Who would have prevented a tragedy from occurring?” On Twitter, the party pointed out that even the chief minister was not safe in Delhi.
Tiwari, meanwhile, condemned the attack. “This kind of act should not be spared,” Republic TV quoted him as saying. “A proper investigation should be conducted. The BJP is against such act.”