The Delhi Police have dropped the charges of spreading racial hatred and enmity against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Somnath Bharti in the case of midnight raid at the homes of African residents of Khirkee Extension near Malviya Nagar.
The police have, however, charged Bharti with molestation, watching or filming a woman during a private act, assault, rioting, assault of a public servant in the commission of their duties, wrongful confinement, trespassing and assaulting a person while stealing.
The incident took place on the intervening night of January 15 and 16, when Malviya Nagar MLA Bharti barged into the homes of nine Ugandan nationals in Khirkee Extension along with a few followers.
He alleged that he had received many complaints from residents of the area regarding a drugs and prostitution ring being run by the Ugandan nationals. He also had an altercation with the police on the issue. But no recoveries of drugs were made that night and two FIRs were filed against Bharti.
The chargesheet has been submitted before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Pritam Singh, who has transferred the matter to Metropolitan Magistrate Niti Phutela (Special Mahila Court). The next date of hearing has been fixed for October 10.
During the hearing, the investigating officer told the court that they had examined 40 prosecution witnesses during their eight-month-long probe. These included nine Ugandan women who had complained against Bharti and his followers.
Several foreign nationals had also alleged that Bharti and his followers forced them to urinate in public place to obtain urine samples.
Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay on Wednesday demanded Bharti’s resignation from the Delhi assembly. He said that AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is quick to demand resignation from other party leaders on trivial issues and should lead by example.
“The court has framed charges against his colleague Somnath Bharti in connection with a serious case linked to the security of women. It is necessary that Kejriwal should compel Bharti to resign from the Delhi assembly or dismiss him from the party,” said Upadhyay.
(with inputs from Neelam Pandey)