In what could spell more trouble for Law Minister Somnath Bharti, police on Sunday registered an FIR against unknown persons, who allegedly beat up and abused four Ugandan women in South Delhi’s Khirki Extension on January 15 night.
The FIR was registered at the Malviya Nagar police station on the order of Saket metropolitan magistrate Chetna Singh, who directed police to submit an action taken report on February 14.
On Friday, the women approached police with separate complaints against unnamed AAP volunteers. One of the women also approached court, seeking directions to police to file a case.
Police said Bharti and others, who were at the spot, would be served notices to join the investigation. Police are likely to call them for questioning on Tuesday.
One of the women said she could identify the persons who allegedly beat and abused them.
In its order, the court asked police to examine television footage to identify the accused. Bharti’s argument with police, asking them to take action against the women, was caught on camera by a news channel.
“My client came to the country for medical treatment but some persons barged into her residence and harassed her. She was called names like ‘black’… A law minister demanding the arrest of a woman after sunset and barging into her house without a warrant is shocking,” Rakesh Sherawat, counsel for one of the women, said.
The woman is undergoing treatment at Max Hospital.
“The complainant was able to identify seven to 10 persons who attacked her from a TV clipping,” Sherawat said.
Last Wednesday, Bharti and AAP volunteers landed in Khirki Extension — an area in his Malviya Nagar constituency — saying he had received “information” on a prostitution-and-drug ring. He demanded police conduct medical tests on foreign nationals and even search a house, without a warrant. He rebuked a police officer for refusing to act without following due process.
Next day, the Malviya Nagar police took four Ugandan women to AIIMS for a medical examination. The tests ruled out consumption of any psychotropic substances. One of the women alleged that they were encircled while returning from a party and held captive for over three hours.
In their complaint letters, the women alleged that they were beaten by the men.
“The complaints state that the women were touched inappropriately by partymen, who held them captive. The women stated that the men called them names and abused them, saying they indulged in illegal activities,” a police officer said.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought reports from the Home Ministry, the Delhi government and the Delhi Police over the alleged “racial prejudice” and “unlawful acts” against African the nationals. The NHRC has sought a report in three days.
“In the wake of media reports alleging attacks and the acts of discrimination against African nationals, the NHRC has condemned any act of discrimination against any caste, colour, race, sex etc,” a statement issued by the NHRC stated.
Both the Congress and the BJP hit out at Bharti, demanding his resignation. The women wing of the Congress plan to hold a dharna in front of the police headquarters. Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel said, “He is a symbol of the AAP’s style of governance, which is racist, discriminatory and violent. The sooner residents of Delhi can get rid of the AAP regime, the better it will be for them.”