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Under fire for not removing Delhi’s law minister Somnath Bharti for his midnight raid on an alleged drug and sex racket involving Ugandan nationals, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday released a series of videos from the night of the incident in his defence.
The videos, ranging from 2-4 minutes, show the Delhi law minister’s visit to the area around midnight on January 15 in south Delhi with the police.
They also show the presence of condoms and bottles containing some liquid, the presence of women police personnel and how the assistant commissioner of police did not budge despite Bharti requesting him to call up the deputy commissioner of police.
“The videos are proof enough to establish that women police personnel were present right from start, that Bharti did not make any racist comment and also that the police had caught hold of the African women,” said an AAP member. “We are deliberately not putting it up on our official Facebook page as it contains lot of graphic details.”
Watch video: 'Lady cop was present'
Gopal Rai, AAP spokesperson and political affairs committee member, said, “Somnath Bharti is deliberately being attacked in a planned manner to save the politician-police-mafia nexus… to protect the sex and drug racket in the area.”
The party has stood by Bharti for his action at Khirki Extension, the hotspot of alleged action against Africans reportedly involved in drugs and sex racket.
In some of footage released by the AAP, the audio and video are not in sync.
Meanwhile, on complaints by Ugandan women, an FIR has been registered against the minister. Moreover, there are four cases in the Delhi Commission for Women.
“They say they found condoms in a car. Is it illegal in India to keep condoms? I thought India was a free country like ours,” said one of the complainants from Uganda.
“Are all men here rapists? That’s what I was told when I was coming here. I did not believe that. So why do you judge me for something my neighbours might be doing?”
Watch video: Police searching a car for evidence
She added, “Bharti was leading a mob that night. The men asked us for our passports. The police came later. The police are helping us, they saved us that night too.”
Bharti asserted, “How can there be any manhandling if the building was not even opened for a raid. Their allegations are not true. Also the address given by the complainant does not even exist in Khirki Extension.”
The police refused to comment on the videos.
The minister’s midnight swoop had triggered a stand-off with the police. The police had refused to conduct an “illegal” raid in the absence of a warrant.
Watch video: Somnath Bharti talking to cops
This later escalated into an unprecedented state government-led protest for control over Delhi Police, which is under the Union home ministry.
The protests led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal triggered chaos across the Capital and were called off on the second day after two police officials were sent on leave pending inquiry.
Watch video: Cops chase a woman during Bharti's raid