New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday alleged that the ink attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was part of a "big rehearsal" to possibly "physically harm" him in future and that deliberately lax security was being provided to him by Delhi Police.
AAP leader Ashutosh claimed that "not a single" security person escorted the Delhi chief minister, who comes in Z-plus category, during his recent train journey from Punjab to the National Capital after addressing a public rally there.
"I can see a method or a pattern here. There's a deep conspiracy and it's a well known fact that Delhi Police directly reports to the Prime Minister's Office and not the Home Ministry," he told reporters at a press conference at Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's residence.
"The attack signals that the incidents are part of a big rehearsal. The conspiracies are being tested time and again. One also needs to look at the kind of hate being whipped up against Kejriwal by BJP and RSS," he said.
He said that the attack, where a young woman threw ink at Kejriwal in a public rally on Sunday, was not only "shameful" but also serious as India has had a history of assassinations of top leaders including former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
"After assessing the threat perception, Centre itself gave Z-plus security status to the Delhi CM. We did not ask for it. Then how could a woman get this close to the CM and throw stuff at him? They can't claim that they were caught unawares," AAP's Delhi Convenor Dilip Pandey said.
Bhavna Arora, the woman, who claimed to be a member of the Punjab unit of Aam Aadmi Sena and who threw ink at Kejriwal, was later detained by police and whisked away to Model Town police station for questioning.
A case was also registered.
Reacting sharply to the incident, Sisodia said on Sunday that the BJP was conspiring to attack Kejriwal and the entire Cabinet because they cannot stand the success of the odd-even scheme and AAP's popularity among the masses.
Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay rejected the allegations and insinuated that the incident could have been "stage managed" while Delhi police said the charges were "misconceived and unfounded".
Echoing Sisodia's allegations, Ashutosh said the attack could be seen as an attempt to cause "physical harm" to Kejriwal. "The fact that it may have been an attempt to kill him can't be ruled out."
He alleged that the security was scant at Kejriwal's recent rally at Punjab's Muktsar and very few Delhi Police personnel accompanied him. "Not a single policeman escorted him during his return journey in train," he claimed.
Pandey demanded that the Centre and the police hold "accountable" those responsible behind the "lapse" in the Z-plus arrangements as part of which "22 policemen are to escort the CM."
"A red alert was sounded after the Pathankot attack. This is the readiness of police during a red alert? Was any personnel from Delhi Police been held accountable? This is clearly vengeful," Pandey said.
On Aam Aadmi Sena, Ashtosh said, "RSS and BJP have a history of propping up such organisations. We need to look at the kind of hate being whipped up against Kejriwal by them."
Arora, a resident of outer Delhi's Rohini sub-city, came quite close to the lectern when Kejriwal was delivering his speech at the Chhatrasal Stadium, waved some papers towards him and then threw ink at the chief minister.
There were ink stains on Kejriwal's cheeks and some others standing close to him were also seen wiping off the liquid.