In an embarrassment for Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that claimed to stand for people's rights, an AAP leader Mayank Gandhi has been booked for abetting party activist Tarun Singh's sexual assault on a former party member earlier this year.
A 21-year-old former AAP member filed an FIR on Friday alleging sexual molestation by Singh during the Lok Sabha campaigns contested by Gandhi in April 2014. She claimed that Gandhi threatened her against filing any police complaints as it would tarnish AAP's image.
"The offence had occurred in April this year in suburban Oshiwara, ahead of Lok Sabha elections," PTI quoted additional police commissioner Milind Bharambe as saying.
"Based on the allegations levelled by the victim, an FIR was registered yesterday. The victim alleged that she brought to Gandhi's notice the sexual advancements of some party workers, but he did not pay heed to them. And hence, she approached the local police who registered the FIR yesterday," Bharambe added.
Gandhi has, however, refuted the victim's claims and said that he took action against the accused immediately after the incident was brought to his knowledge and asked her to file an FIR but she refused to do so.
"I met the victim for barely 10 minutes. She informed me about the incident after which I immediately got the accused suspended and asked a senior woman member from our party to look into her allegations. I told her she could register the case if she wanted to," Gandhi told The Asian Age.
Singh has been booked under IPC section 354 (a) sexual harassment, 506 punishment for criminal intimidation, 509 word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman, and Gandhi has been booked for supporting him in his crime, Oshiwara police said.