In what seems to have been a case of racial profiling, a group of African women who were targeted by a vigilante mob led by Delhi's Law Minister Somnath Bharti has caused a national embarrassment. The women, who are Ugandan nationals, have now demanded the resignation of the law minister.
The incident took place on Thursday night when Bharti led a mob that also included residents of Malviya Nagar to Khirki Extension, to carry out a vigilante-style crackdown on criminals which in this case was targeted at Ugandan and Nigerian nationals.The incident that has gained widespread condemnation is being looked on as a national shame.
There is much trouble brewing for the newly elected Law Minister Somnath Bharti, as on Sunday, a Delhi Court has asked the police to file an First Information Report against Bharti and the mob. The magistrate court under section 156(3) criminal procedure will now investigate the case.
The Aam Aadmi Party, one of the most recent of the political parties that had made its national debut in the Delhi Assembly, has come under fire for its measures. AAP Minister Somnath and his vigilante-style calls for justice are now even risking the country's relations with other nations across the world.
The Ugandan nationals in a interview with a TV channel revealed that the four women were manhandled and assaulted by the vigilante mob led by Bharti. "The way they were treating us as if we were criminals. We are not criminals. The minister who conducted the raid should be made to resign. What he's doing is not right . We just want to go to our embassy," said one of the assaulted Ugandan nationals.
The mistreatment of the African nationals has put the Ministry of External Affairs in a tight spot. On Saturday, over 20 African envoys arrived at the MEA office to discuss the issue following Thursday night's incident. The case is being seen as that of racial profiling as the African nationals were targeted by the Law Minister led mob because they were 'black' and the accepted notion is that they 'indulge in illegal activities,' reported The Indian express.
Following are some of the latest reactions against AAP and Bharti:
Has anyone informed Somnath Bharti that AAP stands for Aam Aadmi Party, not Arrest Africans Partying?
— Oculus (@daddy_san) January 19, 2014
If Delhi Police under Delhi govt means Somnath Bharti can do what he wants, I'd rather they stayed under central govt. Or even US govt. — Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) January 18, 2014
— psrawat (@psrimajin) January 19, 2014