On the run, Somnath Bharti uses 10 mobile numbers to fox cops | delhi | Hindustan Times
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On the run, Somnath Bharti uses 10 mobile numbers to fox cops

Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti, accused of attempt to murder and dowry harassment by his estranged wife, continued to evade arrest for the

delhi Updated: Sep 25, 2015 09:00 IST
HT Correspondent
A file photo of AAP leader and former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti.
A file photo of AAP leader and former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti.(PTI Photo)

Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti, accused of attempt to murder and dowry harassment by his estranged wife, continued to evade arrest for the third day on Thursday with the Delhi Police saying he was behaving like a “professional criminal”, changing his location and mobile numbers frequently.

Multiple raids including at an Agra village —his last known location — yielded no results, police sources said.

Investigating officers said the AAP MLA had used 10 different mobile numbers in the last three days and had changed six locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in as many vehicles.

In more trouble for the Malviya Nagar legislator, the Delhi government sanctioned his prosecution for allegedly leading a midnight raid against African women in south Delhi’s Khirki Extension in January 2014 when he was law minister.

The turnaround by the AAP government — which had all this while stood solidly behind Bharti over his involvement in the raid — came a day after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called him an “embarrassment” to the Aam Aadmi Party and urged him to give himself up to the police in the domestic violence case.

“The Delhi high court rejected Somnath Bharti’s anticipatory bail plea on Tuesday morning and since then he has been evading arrest. By frequently changing his location and mobile phones, Bharti is behaving more like a professional criminal,” said Deependra Pathak, joint commissioner of police (southwestern range). He said a separate case will be filed against those found helping him.

An officer said Bharti first hid in west Delhi and then moved to trans-Yamuna areas, east of the city. He is believed to have left for Agra late on Wednesday night. “Bharti is not staying at any of the locations for more than eight to ten hours. Before moving, he changes his mobile number and vehicle,” the officer said.

Investigators have questioned several people, including the AAP leader’s brother and personal secretary, since he went missing after the Delhi high court denied him anticipatory bail on September 22. Bharti has now approached the Supreme Court which will hear his plea on Monday.

In a chargesheet filed in September last year, Bharti and his supporters were booked under 16 IPC sections for allegedly misbehaving with a number of African women during a raid against a suspected drug and prostitution ring on the intervening night of January 15-16, 2014. If convicted, the MLA faces a maximum punishment of seven years’ imprisonment.