CBI raid turns Delhi Secretariat into citadel; government bans media entry

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) The Delhi Secretariat was on Tuesday morning turned into a citadel with the presence of heavy police force — not because of any VIP movement but because a CBI raid was being conducted at the office of Rajendra Kumar, principal secretary to the chief minister.

Targeting Kumar, the Central Bureau of Investigation swooped down on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office at the Delhi Secretariat over a 2007 corruption case, triggering a string of angry responses from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader who took office in February 2015.

According to CBI officials, the raid at Rajendra Kumar’s office continued till late in the evening.

Initially, the entry of any person — be it the chief minister’s office staff or other bureaucrats and even media — was restricted, but later bureaucrats and staff were allowed to enter.

Kejriwal was not in the office when the raid started, and only a few staff members were present.

The CBI sealed the entire third floor, where the office is situated.

“The CM usually reaches office by 10 a.m. The CBI stormed into the office around 9.40 a.m. and asked the staff present there not to leave the office till the raid is completed,” a Delhi government official told IANS.

“On getting this information, the CM did not come here (secretariat) and along with other officials, he went straight to Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s residence and held a meeting there,” the official said.

The official said 5-6 CBI officials came in two cars and conducted the raid.

The CBI later said reports regarding a search at Kejriwal’s office were baseless.

“Rajendra Kumar’s room is adjacent to the CM’s office. Rajendra Kumar is Kejriwal’s principal secretary, so all important files of the chief minister are kept in his room. So it is hard to believe the CBI’s claim that it did not search the CM’s files,” the Delhi government official added.

Arunoday Prakash, media advisor to the deputy chief minister, was also not allowed to enter the chief minister’s office.

“If this was a raid on Rajendra, why wasn’t I allowed to enter the CM’s office,” Prakash asked.

The entry of media persons was barred for the entire day.

When asked about this, an official said: “There are orders from the chief secretary’s office that no media should be allowed inside the secretariat today.”

However, work in other departments — situated on the other floors — continued as usual.

Three ministers of the Delhi government — Transport Minister Gopal Rai, Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra and Women and Child Welfare Minister Sandip Kumar — reached their respective offices located on other floors of the Delhi Secretariat.

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