Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash on Tuesday alleged that he was manhandled by few Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs in presence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence on Monday night.
While the allegation has been denied by Kejriwal, the bureaucracy has “strongly condemned” and is “protesting” the alleged physical assault by the MLAs on the CS around midnight at the CM’s residence/Camp office on Flag Staff road.
In a statement issued through the IAS, DANICS and DASS officers Associations, the bureaucracy said it feels that the incident amounts to a “functional crisis and breakdown of governance and earnestly implore the Hon’ble Lt. Governor and the Govt. of India to take expeditious action against the perpetrators of the unfortunate incident”.
The association, in its detailed statement, also alleged that the attack took place “in the presence and with the consent of the CM and Deputy CM”.
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The IAS Officers Association, which earlier announced an indefinite strike, later said that it will continue to work in public interest.
“In public interest officers & staff will continue to work in their offices. However, no officer will attend meeting beyond office hours, outside office premises, till such time effective action is taken against all people behind this incident,” it said.
Here is the official statement issued by the IAS Association:
The IAS, DANICS and DASS Associations, representing the officers of the Government of NCT Delhi, strongly condemn and protest the physical assault by the MLAs on the Chief Secretary, Delhi at midnight on 20.2.18 in the CM’s residence/Camp office at Flag Staff road in the presence and with the consent of the Hon’ble CM and Deputy CM. The appalling and shocking physical assault meted out to the Head of the Administration of Delhi, in the form of blows on the head, amounting to threat to life and physical safety, is deplorable.
This incident is the culmination of a series of incidents of officers being subjected to verbal abuse and intimidation by political authorities from time to time. All these incidents tend to lead to impairment of the effective functioning of the bureaucracy in free and impartial manner. In view of the above, the Associations have, in the past, repeatedly urged the political executive to allow the officials to discharge their official duties professionally.
Despite the above situation, the officers have been working tirelessly and fearlessly. However, the most recent incident of physical assault of the Chief Secretary of Delhi in the camp office of Chief Minister in the presence of Hon’ble CM & Dy. CM by MLAs is the last straw. This incident, which has happened in the official residence of the Chief Minister, clearly appears to be pre-planned, pre-meditated and absolutely without any provocation on the part of the Chief Secretary, in view of the fact that the meeting was called at midnight, the Chief Secretary was called alone in the presence of a large number of MLAs, and the meeting had been called to pressurize the Chief Secretary to release publicity material regarding achievements of the government, in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines. Therefore the meeting was absolutely devoid of any emergency or public interest.
The Associations strongly feel that the above incident amounts to a functional crisis and breakdown of governance and earnestly implore the Hon’ble Lt. Governor and the Govt. of India to take expeditious action against the perpetrators of the unfortunate incident.
The Associations also strongly condemn the misinformation being spread by public representatives about the facts and circumstances of the incident.
In public interest the officers and staff will continue to work in their offices. However, no officers will attend a meeting beyond office hours, outside office premises, including camp offices/ residences of ministers, till such time effective action is taken against all the people behind the incident of 20.02.18.
AAP has refuted the allegations that CS was attacked and instead blamed the CS for not taking questions on ration disbursal from MLAs. AAP has also alleged that the meeting was not about TV advertisements and that it was about ration system.