The Delhi Police on Tuesday registered a case against a man, identified as Anil Sharma, who threw chilli powder at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal outside his office at the Secretariat. Sources said Sharma managed to gain entry in the Delhi Secretariat after being issued a pass to go to PGMS unit of the government. The 40-year-old attacker had gone to the Secretariat allegedly seeking help for an ailing relative, they said.
The AAP leaders alleged that the man threw red chilli powder at the chief minister, a claim denied by the Delhi Police. Sharma had reached the reception of the Delhi Secretariat where he was issued a pass after a call was received from the PGMS, sources said.
A purported CCTV footage of the incident showed Kejriwal 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 over some papers that Kejriwal gave to his staff.
The accused could be seen in the video bending down to touch Kejriwal's feet and suddenly lunging at him with his hand brushing past the chief minister's face.
#WATCH: CCTV from Delhi Secretariat. Delhi Police say 'Anil Kumar came to meet Delhi CM to share his grievances. He handed him a note & touched his feet, & chilli powder fell from his hand. Probe underway whether it was an attack or powder fell unintentionally' pic.twitter.com/UYMhCAb3Hm— ANI (@ANI) November 20, 2018
"He was seeking help for an ailing relative. The pass was issued to him after a call was received from PGMS located in the secretariat," they said.
Public entry at the Delhi Secretariat is allowed from its gate number 6 where Delhi Police personnel do separate frisking of men and women going inside the premises.
The AAP leaders termed it as a security lapse that the attacker managed to carry red chilli powder with him inside the secretariat.
“It's extremely shocking that the Delhi Police is lying on record about premeditated attack on Delhi CM inside Secretariat today. Security of the Delhi Secretariat is responsibility of the Delhi Police and there have been numerous incidents of security breaches in the recent past, said the Delhi government.
“Instead of owning up its serious lapses, the Delhi Police is spreading lies under political pressure. 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?” asked the Delhi government.
The incident took place around 2:10 pm when the chief minister was leaving for lunch. The man has been taken into custody. The man was targeting the bespectacled chief minister's eyes, officials said. Kumar, whose Aadhaar card has been recovered, brought the chilli powder to the secretariat in packets of 'khaini', or chewing tobacco. After throwing red pepper powder on Kejriwal, Kumar threatened to shoot him after he comes out of jail, an official recounted. The attack took place outside the chief minister's chamber on the third floor when he was leaving for lunch.
"Even the Chief Minister is not safe in Delhi. The man crossed all security barriers and even scanners but the chilli powder was not detected," AAP said in a statement.
"Rogue elements who are attacking the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are backed by the BJP. They wanted to attack the Chief Minister even on the inauguration of Signature," said AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj at a press conference.
"The attackers are being provided full impunity by the Delhi Police, the police has no intention to take firm action against the attack on the CM, said AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the BJP, in collusion with Delhi Police, is hatching a conspiracy to attack the chief minister.Sisodia said the party and its members are not going to be cowed by the BJP's "petty" tactics. The Aam Aadmi Party has described the incident as "politically motivated".
"The attack surprisingly took place at a high security area. Recently, BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari reached near stage during the inauguration of signature bridge. BJP in collusion with Delhi Police is hatching a conspiracy to attack the chief minister," Sisodia told reporters.
"We are not going to be cowed by the BJP'S petty tactics," he added.
The Delhi BJP chief said such incidents "cannot be tolerated or justified by anybody". "This calls for a high-level probe," Tiwari said.
(With PTI inputs)