‘13 people cornered one man’: Delhi cops on how AAP leaders assaulted chief secretary
The Delhi Police told a city court on Saturday that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs allegedly assaulted chief secretary Anshu Prakash at the February 19 midnight meeting with the common intention of pressuring him “to act in a certain manner”, leading to a situation where one person was cornered by 13 people.
The submissions were made in the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate Samar Vishal after he asked the police the reason for including sections 34 (common intention), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in the charge sheet that was filed on August 13 against the CM, his deputy and 11 AAP MLAs.
The 13 AAP leaders were charged under 13 different sections of the IPC, including criminal intimidation, assaulting a public servant, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy, for allegedly assaulting the chief secretary past midnight at a meeting convened at the chief minister’s residence on February 19.
The police said that of the 11 MLAs who were called, two were made to sit on a sofa according to a preconceived plan after which the CS was assaulted, threatened, abused and confined.
“No one intervened during the incident, which happened due to a common object and intention. Everybody (MLAs) in the room was on one side against a single person on the other side. One man was cornered by 13 people,” the counsel for the Delhi police said.
The police contended that the Delhi government had been trying to bring the door-to-door ration card scheme for one and half months before the incident for which it had held several meetings. However, when the work was not done due to the tiff with the bureaucrats, they thought of “pressuring the CS”.
“When the scheme was not notified, they thought that ‘Let the boss of all the bureaucrats (CS) be called and pressured to get the work done’.”
On the charge of unlawful assembly, the police said that joining and continuing an illegal gathering was an offence.
The court on Saturday sought to know from the Delhi police that how these MLAs could be charged for common intention and motive.
Replying to the query, additional DCP Harendra Singh told the court that a meeting was convened at midnight and all the MLAs were personally called to come for it. The time for the meeting was fixed.
“What was the purpose that they had been called at midnight? Never before this any of the MLAs were called this late at night,” he said, adding that the real motive behind this was to “pressure the CS in a certain manner to get the work done”.
After hearing the submissions, the court fixed the next hearing on September 18. It also dismissed a joint application filed by the AAP MLAs seeking to restrain the Delhi police from leaking any information to the media.
However, speaking to HT, advocate Irshad who represents the MLAs, said, “I would not like to comment on the allegations made against us. In any case, we are not required to say anything at the cognisance stage. At this juncture, it is only for the police and the judge to decide. We will advance our arguments once the cognisance is taken on the charge sheet and the accused are summoned”.
On February 20, the Delhi police had registered a first information report (FIR) against AAP MLA ‘Amanatullah Khan and others’ on Anshu Prakash’s complaint that he was called to the chief minister’s residence for a midnight meeting on the night of February 19 at which he was assaulted by the party legislators in front of Kejriwal.