Under fire for carrying out a midnight raid last week targeting African nationals, during which Ugandan women were allegedly held against their will and assaulted, Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti Sunday attacked the Congress and BJP, saying “it could not be helped if there were pimps in their midst”. Bharti said the two parties did not seem to care about the problem of drug racketeering.
At a janta darbar at Khirki Extension in South Delhi — where he carried out the raid Wednesday night — Bharti said, “These political parties (Congress and BJP) have to decide who to serve. They can either serve us or they can serve criminals involved in drugs and sex rackets, some of whom come from other countries. It is not my fault if the Congress and BJP have pimps in their midst, and don’t care about the country.”
When contacted in the evening, Bharti confirmed to The Indian Express, “Yes, that is what I said.” BJP leader Arun Jaitley said on Sunday that Bharti’s approach “appears to be racist”.
Reacting to this, Bharti said, “These leaders, like Arun Jaitley and Harish Salve, are concentrating on the wrong issue. I am raising concerns on the problem of drugs in the area. I was told by locals that there is this huge problem, and none of these parties seem to be serious about that. There is video footage of the events of that night, and I can assure you nobody was manhandled. The truth will come out in a few days.”
Sanjay Singh, member of the AAP’s Political Affairs Committee, defended Bharti. “Jaitley’s remarks show the BJP has stooped to the level that they will even defend those who run drug and sex rackets.”
On Wednesday night, Bharti, who is the local MLA, reached Khirki Extension after he received complaints of a “drug and sex racketeering ring run by Africans”. He was seen arguing with Delhi Police officers, asking them to enter the homes of African nationals and carry out raids. Later, four Ugandan women were allegedly accosted by Bharti and his aides.
Police register FIR
Following court orders, the police on Sunday registered an FIR against unknown persons, who allegedly beat up and abused four Ugandan women during the raid carried out by Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti and his aides.