The Delhi Police on Wednesday told the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Chetna Singh that it has chargesheeted former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti and 17 other persons in connection with an alleged midnight raid on African citizens residing in Khirki Extension.
Bharti and the 17 others have been chargesheeted under various sections of the IPC, including charges of molestation, outraging the modesty of a woman, rioting, promoting enmity between classes, criminal intimidation, voluntarily causing hurt, criminal trespass and assault, police submitted in court.
Police said the chargesheet was filed on September 29, in accordance with earlier court directives. Investigation Officer (IO) Vijay Chandel also told the court that nine Ugandan women were prosecution witnesses in the case.
Earlier in the day, Metropolitan Magistrate Chetna Singh, after briefly going through the chargesheet, asked the IO to appear before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) for transfer of the case to an appropriate court. The CMM later transferred the case to a mahila court, which will take cognizance of the chargesheet on October 10.
AAP leaders, meanwhile, said the party stood by their MLA. Speaking to Newsline at his office in Malviya Nagar, Bharti said while he was not in possession of the chargesheet, he was “yet to come to terms with the processes followed by police”.
“Not even once have I been interviewed by police, nor have they questioned anyone from Khirki. It is clear that the Congress and the BJP are the same. Police were used and abused by the Congress and it is the same with the BJP. The hope now is the judiciary. There is video evidence of the entire case and police were there throughout. I didn’t say a word that was wrong, I didn’t touch anyone, nor did I go inside any house,” Bharti said.
“There are three things that I have demanded — that the tenure of the visa of foreign nationals be checked, terms of visa be checked, and their source of income be verified. I have not said anything racist. I only have a problem with those indulging in illegality,” he said.
Rejecting allegations of racial profiling, Bharti said the government should have taken his lead and cracked down on human and drug trafficking. “Where is the question of my doing anything wrong? I did my duty. If I need to come to the rescue of my people, I will do it a thousands times. There is a God and there is judiciary,” the former law minister said.