AAP MLA Somnath Bharti arrested for assaulting AIIMS security staff, gets bail
Aam Aadmi Party legislator Somnath Bharti was granted bail on Thursday by a court, just hours after his arrest for allegedly assaulting security staff at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences earlier this month.
The complaint was filed by the chief security officer of AIIMS on September 9 following which a case was registered under sections of rioting, damaging public property and obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty. Bharti was arrested from his office in south Delhi’s Green Park.
He is the second AAP leader to be arrested in two days. MLA Amanatullah Khan was arrested on Wednesday afternoon on charges of sexual harassment.
AIIMS chief security officer accused Bharti of trying to encroach on government land and disrupting peace in the hospital. The officer said the MLA and about 300 of his supporters beat up security personnel who had asked them to leave the hospital premises.
He alleged that the Malviya Nagar MLA, in whose constituency the part of the hospital is located, insisted that the area was ‘public property’ and a fence must be demolished.
The complainant said the MLA did not have any order from a competent authority to stall the work but allegedly went ahead with the demolition forcefully.
“Around 9:45am, Somnath Bharti along with 300 of his supporters assembled in Gautam Nagar near Nallah Road and started breaking the fence on the boundary wall with the help of a JCB machine in order to provide unauthorised people access AIIMS. They were claiming that the road belonged to the public,” the complaint read.
“They were requested to produce the orders of the competent authority in this regard, but they could not. They were also not accompanied by any government official. They damaged the fence on the boundary wall and when I objected to it, they started shouting at me and misbehaving with the security personnel,” he said in the complaint.
In his defence, Bharti posted a letter from the chief engineer (south), PWD, to the AIIMS director stating that the road leading to the Gautam Nagar nullah was a public property and had to be opened for general public use.
AIIMS has been using the area as a parking space for its dental college.
Bharti had stated that the PWD had already given permission to open the area as AIIMS never responded to their notice. According to the letter — uploaded on Twitter by Bharti — the engineer requested the director of AIIMS to come for a meeting but no representative was ever sent. “Minutes of the meeting were also sent, but there was no response from AIIMS. Accordingly it is presumed that it has no objection to the proposal of opening the road for public,” the letter read.
The security officer also alleged that some of his men sustained minor injuries while protecting the government land.
“....They used abusive language, disrupted the peace in the hospital and caused disturbance to the patients and employees of AIIMS. They adopted unlawful ways to encroach the government land. Strict action needs to be taken against the persons for an attempt to assault government servants on duty and disrupting peace in the hospital,” the complaint read.