DCW summons Somnath Bharti; AAP says will act if he is found guilty

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The Delhi Commission for Women on Wednesday summoned Law Minister Somnath Bharti and asked him to depose before it over allegations of manhandling some Ugandan women by a group led by him during a midnight raid in South Delhi.

“Five Ugandan women have recorded their complaints with the Commission alleging that they had been manhandled by the Minister and his associates on January 15 night,” DCW chairperson Barkha Singh said.

“We had asked him to appear before the Commission yesterday but he did not show up. We will be sending another summon to him through the SHO concerned. If he still does not appear, we shall write to the Lt Governor and to the Delhi Police Commissioner,” she added.

Singh said three of the Ugandan women have claimed that unknown persons had forcibly entered their house in the middle of the night asking for their passports and started searching their suitcases.

The women have alleged that they were made to take off their clothes while checking for the key,” Singh said.

“Two of the Ugandan women have stated that they were stopped while returning from work and forced to give urine samples while sitting in a taxi,” Singh said.

One of those African women yesterday recorded her statement in front of a magistrate and said that she had identified the Delhi Law Minister. She also claimed that he was the one who led the ‘midnight raid’ at her house last week.

“We were attacked on Wednesday night (January 15) by Indians who were led by Somnath Bharti. They are claiming we are blacks and we should leave their country. We were harassed, we were beaten, they had long sticks and they said we should leave their country or they’ll kill us one by one. We don’t know if being black is a crime,” she was quoted as telling reporters after recording her statement.

The woman claimed that she could identify Somnath Bharti because of his muffler when the latter appeared on TV the next day. “I identified Somnath Bharti because he came in the night then the next day I saw him on television. He was still putting on what I saw last night.”

The woman recorded her statement in camera under Sec 164 of CrPC. The statement has been now given to police in a sealed cover and will be opened only during the trial.

After the recording of her statement was completed, police listed the Ugandan national as a prosecution witness in the case. She will again testify in court during the trial over the alleged incident.

The court had ordered registration of an FIR upon a petition filed by the woman in question seeking a criminal case against the alleged offenders.

The raid was allegedly led by Somnath Bharti who accused the foreign nationals of being involved in a drug and prostitution racket.

Meanwhile, the AAP leadership today said that the party will act against Bharti if he is found guilty.

Speaking to reporters, AAP spokesperson Ashutosh said, “Politics is being played out against Bharti.”

He, however, assured that the party won’t take any action immediately. “If he is found guilty, then the party will take necessary actions,” Ashutosh said.