An FIR has been registered against Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti for allegedly 'instigating' men to misbehave with a woman earlier this month.
The case against Bharti has been registered under Section 109 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Saket Police Station. The men he instigated have been booked under IPC sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).
A chargesheet had been filed against Bharti previously for attempting to murder his wife Lipika Mitra and inflicting cruelty upon her in a case of domestic violence. He has also been accused of molestation and assault in the past. Bharti was also charged for promoting enmity following the raid on African residents of Khirki Extension in his constituency in Jan 2014.
Bharti lashed out against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government and accused the government of misusing the police.
He said in a series of tweets:
Ashamed of such misuse of police by Modi Govt. Video footage reveals that the girls had breached CM security and policemen caught them.
— Adv. Somnath Bharti (@attorneybharti) July 20, 2016
Police officers hv confessed that they are under pressure. Going to DCP South to know more on this. — Adv. Somnath Bharti (@attorneybharti) July 20, 2016
In a separate incident, an FIR was also registered against unidentified people following a complaint of misbehaviour filed by a woman against another AAP MLA, Amanatullah Khan.
Meanwhile, a woman activist working for AAP committed suicide in Delhi on Tuesday after her colleague, whom she had accused of sexual harassment, was released on bail. The party has disowned Ramesh Wadhwa, the accused and has ordered a magisterial probe into the matter.
Have ordered magistrate inquiry in AAP activist suicide case in Narela. DM north will do the inquiry.
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) July 20, 2016
The woman, a resident of Narela in north-west Delhi, allegedly consumed poison and died in the hospital. Her family has claimed that she was depressed following the release of the accused and that she suspected AAP of protecting Wadhwa.
"The woman had filed a complaint against party colleague Ramesh Wadhwa for allegedly touching her inappropriately. A case of molestation was registered in June and the accused was arrested," a senior police official told Press Trust of India.
Delhi BJP President Satish Upadhyay lashed out at AAP in a statement which said: "This girl had been raising the issue of her harassment for months, but AAP leaders ignored it. This incident has established the anti-woman character of AAP."
However, AAP has dismissed all allegations. "There is no mention of any lawmaker's name in any of the complaints. Whosoever is alleged to have harassed the girl has no connection with the party. The BJP should not stoop this low and play politics over the death of a poor girl. We also want action against the culprit," party spokesperson Deepak Bajpai said.