Aam Aadmi Party leader Prakash Jarwal is likely to be arrested after police filed a case of molestation and criminal intimidation against the Deoli MLA, the latest in a series of setbacks for Delhi’s ruling party.
The complainant, a resident of south Delhi’s Sangam Vihar, said Jarwal threatened and molested her on June 2 when she had gone to the Delhi Jal Board office to protest against water problems in her neighbourhood.
“I have protested at the DJB office, where Jarwal sits. He knows me. He has threatened me before but this time he molested and threatened me. I want police to arrest him at the earliest,” said the woman.
The complaint comes roughly a week after the dramatic arrest of AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya on charges of molestation. The legislator was picked up in the middle of a press conference, triggering a bitter fight between the Centre and the AAP.
Jarwal is one of nine party legislators facing criminal charges, a statistic that has made Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal allege that they were targeted by the Centre because it wants the AAP administration to fail. But experts also point out that the repeated scandals are hurting the image of a party that was born out of an anti-corruption movement.
Jarwal was also arrested two years ago for allegedly thrashing a DJB official.
Police said they will record the woman’s statement before a magistrate, after which Jarwal is likely to be arrested. The Deoli MLA has been booked under sections 354(Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506(criminal intimidation), 509(act with intent to outrage modesty of woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
The woman told HT that on June 2, when she was protesting against the lack of water supply in her locality, some of Jarwal’s men saw her and ordered her to go away.
“Some of his goons said the MLA will fix me today. At around noon, the MLA reached the DJB campus and hit me on my chest with a wrong intention,” her statement in the FIR read.
“I nearly fell down but managed to save myself. Before leaving he threatened me saying he would bump me off.”
The woman said she suffered from diabetes and was unwell for a month after the incident, because of which she could not approach the police.
On Wednesday, she visited a senior Delhi police officer, after which a case was registered.
“Her statement before a magistrate will be admissible evidence. It is between the court and the woman. We will arrest the accused MLA only after due process is completed,” said a senior officer.