In the weeks before she allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison, AAP volunteer Soni had been “worried and tense,” her family members said Wednesday. According to them, the 28-year-old was stalked and molested by Ramesh Bhardwaj, who claims to be a leader of AAP in outer Delhi’s Narela.
Soni’s death has triggered a political row, with the BJP claiming AAP is responsible for her death. However, AAP has said Bhardwaj is not a member of the party.
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After Soni filed a police complaint in June, Bhardwaj was arrested but later released on bail. He started harassing Soni again after he was released, said her family members. “My wife was continuously being harassed, because of which she was suffering from depression. Recently, she had received a letter, asking her to withdraw the complaint against Bhardwaj. However, she did not give up and kept going to the police,” said her husband Ashok Mishra.
He added, “On Tuesday, she bought a cold drink and mixed some poisonous tablets in it. She put our two daughters in one room and went to the other one, where she drank it. She was rushed to the hospital, where she succumbed.”
Soni’s family claimed that she had informed AAP leaders about the alleged molestation, but no action was taken against Bhardwaj.
Police have registered a case under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (abetment of suicide) and the case has been transferred to Delhi Police’s Crime Branch.
“Based on the statements of a few people, we have registered a case of abetment of suicide. However, we cannot reveal any names as the matter is under investigation. The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (outer) Vikramjit Singh.
A video in which Soni talks about being “molested” by Bhardwaj also surfaced Wednesday.