Chilli powder attack: AAP fumes at Delhi Police's version, alleges BJP conspiracy

NEW DELHI: A man threw chilli powder at Arvind Kejriwal outside his office in the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday, an attack the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) described as "politically motivated". AAP also claimed that the BJP is hatching a conspiracy in collusion with Delhi Police to attack the chief minister.This, after Delhi police issued a statement recounting the incident but did not specify whether or not the man threw chilli powder at the chief minister+ . The statement mentioned that the man possessed a pouch which apparently contained chilli powder. 

"When the CM was coming out of his chamber, one person later identified as Anil tried to hand over his complaint to the chief minister who in turn passed it on to a staff member," said the statement."Meanwhile Anil bowed down to touch the feet of Kejriwal. The chief minister's security tried to take him away but in the process Kejriwal's spectacles fell," it said."Subsequently security personnel removed him aside and found him carrying a pouch in his hand, which got torn and apparently containing chilly powder," Delhi Police said.Following Delhi Police's statement, party spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged that cops were trying to water down the seriousness of the attack on the chief minister. He claimed that the attacker was associated with a BJP leader from Narayana. 

"Delhi Police SHO tried to plant in Media "There was no attack, chilli packet just fell on the floor inadvertently". Now you can imagine how deep rooted the conspiracy is," Bhardwaj said in a tweet. 

The Delhi government later issued a rejoinder, accusing the Delhi Police of "lying on record" about the "premeditated attack" on the Delhi CM inside the Secretariat."The security of the Delhi Secretariat is the responsibility of Delhi Police and there have been numerous incidents of security breaches in the recent past. Instead of owning up its serious lapses, the Delhi Police is spreading lies under political pressure," government said.The government will explore all legal options to deal with the situation, it said.Senior AAP leader Raghav Chadha claimed to be an eyewitness of the incident and said the attacker tried to throw red chilli powder into Kejriwal's eyes and physically assault him. 

Chadha said he was following Kejriwal alongside his personal secretary after a meeting in his chamber on the third floor of the Delhi Secretariat.

"Shockingly, he walked right up to the chief minister without being intercepted by any security personnel. He tried to attack the chief minister by snatching his glasses, trying to throw red chili powder into his eyes and physically assault him," he said in a statement.

AAP's Delhi unit chief Gopal Rai said the party would hold a protest against the attack outside the BJP headquarters on Wednesday.

Later, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia also alleged that BJP, in collusion with Delhi Police, is hatching a conspiracy to attack the chief minister. 

He added the party and its members are not going to be cowed by the BJP's "petty" tactics.

"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," Sisodia said.

He said the chief minister was safe and did not sustain any physical harm.

Sisodia also slammed Delhi Police over security measures and questioned what would have happened if the man had a weapon instead of the red chilli powder.

The accused Anil Kumar, whose Aadhaar card has been recovered, brought the chilli powder to the secretariat in packets of 'khaini', or chewing tobacco, officials said.

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. 

PTI

(Image Courtesy: Twitter)