Two Delhi ministers, Somnath Bharti and Rakhi Birla, turn vigilantes

Accompanied by television crews and AAP volunteers, Bharti orders police to arrest, Birla tells them to break a door.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: January 17, 2014 8:06 am
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI)

Less than 24 hours after he led a midnight raid and tried to bully police into arresting some “Nigerians or Ugandans” who he alleged were members of “a prostitution-and-drug ring”, Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti returned to the very spot on Thursday and asked residents to draw up a list of houses where “such people” live and said he would personally check each one.

The police, he said, would also be told to do the same. Elsewhere in the capital, his colleague and Women and Child Welfare Minister Rakhi Birla tried to force the police to arrest suspects involved in setting a woman ablaze last week.

Birla claimed the police refused to break down the locked door of a suspect’s house.

On Wednesday, hours after AAP leader and Delhi minister Manish Sisodia warned of the possibility of “political goondaism”, Bharti, accompanied by television crews and AAP volunteers, landed in Khirki Extension — a part of his Malviya Nagar constituency in south Delhi — 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, which some locals believed was a den of vice. He rebuked a police officer for refusing to act without following due process.

Early on Thursday morning, the Malviya Nagar police took four “African nationals” to AIIMS for a medical examination. Hours later, Bharti returned to Khirki Extension, met residents and told them to draw up a list of suspected vice dens. “I am here to solve your problems. I request you to make a list of houses jahan aise log rehte hain (where such people live). This has been happening under the nose of the police for too long and I wanted to see what happens. We have not violated any laws,” Bharti said. 

Asked what he would do with the list, he said, “I will be visiting each of these houses and I will urge the police to do the same. I have taken a vow to put an end to such things in this area.” At the same time, Bharti also urged residents not to take the law into their hands. “I am here to solve your problems. We have to be united,” he said.

On Thursday, Bharti railed against the police who resisted his demands and claimed they refused to act. “I received a message of a prostitution-and-drug ring in Khirki Extension and went there with some volunteers. We came across a PCR van and took them along after asking them to switch off their beacon and siren to nab the culprits red-handed,” he said.

“There were lots of vehicles and foreign nationals either from Nigeria or Uganda. The local SHO was there. When we got down and starting walking towards them, the police fell behind. We ran forward and tried to nab four people. We apprehended two and handed them to the police, the other two fled,” Bharti said. By then, a crowd had gathered and, according to Bharti, bystanders pointed to a house believed to be a den of vice. “We sent a decoy to the house and he said the charge was Rs 10,000 a night. So I immediately asked the police to conduct a search and arrest those involved but the police refused,” he said.

According to Bharti, the police cited rules that prohibited such search and arrests. “They said we cannot do such things. But that is wrong. You can do it if you can give a written explanation for it. But nobody wants to do such things. If the police do not even listen to the law minister, what will the common man do?” he asked. The debutant minister, whose biography on his website says he has travelled the globe, refused to explain how he knew those running the alleged rackets were from Nigeria and Uganda.

“The local SHO who was present also said a lot of Nigerians reside in this area. I have received a lot of complaints from women in this locality against foreign nationals, yeh hum aur aap jaise nahin hain (They are not like you or me),” Bharti said.
He said his team stopped a car with four “Nigerians or Ugandans”.

“We asked the police to search the car and found traces of drugs and the dashboard was filled with condoms. We then took them to AIIMS for a blood sample, which they refused. They even refused to show us their passports,” he said. Bharti also claimed to have narrowly escaped a possible attack. “While we were returning, two cars with foreign nationals blocked the road, I quickly turned around and managed to escape by the skin of my teeth,” he said. Meanwhile, Minister Rakhi Birla claimed the Sagarpur police had shielded suspects in a dowry harassment case in which a woman had been allegedly set ablaze.

“I went to the house where the incident occurred in Indira Park and asked police officers what they were doing about the case. But they did not even care. The house was locked and I asked police to break in and search the house,” she said.  According to Birla, police confirmed that forensic samples had been collected. “If samples were collected, then where are the marks. I spoke to a senior police officer about the issue,” Birla said.

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  1. F
    Jan 19, 2014 at 2:33 am
    Indians should be very careful, this story is gaining traction in Africa, as many people use the internet now and there could be revenge attacks on Indians in African countries. There are far more Indians in African countries (and I'm not talking about multi-generational Africans of Indian descent as in S. Africa or Kenya) but Indian citizens in many African countries and also often doing illegal things. Not a good idea to stir this up!
    1. A
      Jan 17, 2014 at 5:51 am
      midnight drama.
      1. R
        Jan 17, 2014 at 5:18 am
        AAP is doing good work. Keep up the good work guys!
        1. D
          Jan 17, 2014 at 3:24 pm
          you are clearly not from Delhi. So shut up and let Delhiites do what they always dreamt of.
          1. D
            Jan 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm
            I have lived in that area before and have seen with my eyes what goes there. Police is with the gangsters and racket leaders. Now public is taking matter in their hands with government support. Great going AAP. This is what India needs right now.
            1. S
              Jan 17, 2014 at 6:21 am
              Exactly what an aam aadmi and aurat should do when confronted with police complacence, connivance and complete apathy. What else can one do?
              1. D
                Jan 17, 2014 at 5:33 am
                Rakhi Birla has gone cuckoo, and doesn't know about abuse of Dowry law by wifes of the hapless Indian males. In the particular Sagarpur incident, the father in law, a 65 year old senior citizen is languishing in Jail, eve when he did not try to burn the daughter in law !!! The daughter in law wants money & divorce from the boy, and was harring the boys family to pay up lakhs of Rupees to the bahu !!! They were forcing the boys family to sell the house, and give the daughter in law huge sums of money. And this in-experienced "minister" just chants arrest the family - arrest boy his mother.....I regret voting for AAP
                1. O
                  Jan 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm
                  This is what happens when you make a 26 year old a minister. She doesn't understand the basics of law enforcement vs. individual freedom enshrined in the consution. AAP needs lesson in Civics,Law and Economics. Go back to college guys.
                  1. J
                    Jan 17, 2014 at 3:10 pm
                    Delhi police are just hiding behind red-tape to avoid nabbing culprits. If their intention is good and conscience is clear, they would have put in efforts to avoid red-tape rather than use it. By the way when does a police man look for warrant to barge into a commoner's house and slap him/her around if he feels the need to do so?AAP should be praised for their efforts.
                    1. G
                      Jan 17, 2014 at 6:43 am
                      It is a well known fact in India that police knows all the antisocial elements n mostly work as hand in glove with them.
                      1. G
                        Jan 21, 2014 at 11:42 am
                        No point Krishna...they do not understand the plight since they are AAPtards!
                        1. H
                          Jan 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm
                          Yes. All Delhiites have dreamt of haring "Nigerian or Uan" nationals, breaking into their houses and demanding their pports.
                          1. G
                            G G
                            Jan 17, 2014 at 5:32 am
                            Mr Kejriwal's government is heading the style of Stalinist law enforcers! This after the call for "sting" operations to the public, in the same style as Russia did during Stalin's regime! One really wonders is AAP the face of "Aam Admi" or the real face Maoists? Is anarchy far off?
                            1. P
                              Jan 17, 2014 at 8:56 am
                              I can conclude only this..Delhi Police in hand with Drug Mafias and prosution mafias. great going..exactly the way it is shown in movies
                              1. K
                                Jan 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm
                                wow .... Mr Law Minister , there are lakhs of pending cases in courts ..,I think first u should clear them first , inspite of doing this high range drama . what if there are good foreign nationals or Indians living in some house and u go in with some wrong information asking them to come to some hospital for prosution tests .. That would be great right .. People who are supporting what the law minster did , just think if some police officer comes to ur house at 11 pm in the night and asks ur house females for inquiry ..Does that sound good ? ...
                                1. K
                                  Kanwaljit Singh
                                  Jan 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm
                                  This is unbelievable. Pure racism. So the minister is going to ask police to simply break into someone's house who looks like a suspect simply based on their skin color? What did he mean by "aise log"? Did he mean - Africans?
                                  1. R
                                    Jan 19, 2014 at 5:06 pm
                                    I can very well understand the corrupt indian police who will only side with the gangsters and they will cite N number of reasons for not offending them. These same police donot have a shred of remorse for barging in to the residences of poor, and the cases of lock-up deaths or 'custody-murders'. To top all of it the scandal Master Shinde donot allow law and order to work. The bold step of Somnath, though a bit excessive, is the right step of the moment. There should not be racism cited as the motive for this move. No need to worry about the plight of Indians in african countries for this reason. AAP you go ahead. people can understand the right motive behind.
                                    1. M
                                      Jan 19, 2014 at 4:14 am
                                      AAP the best reality show now a days... I preferred to watch BigBoss then this Drama...
                                      1. N
                                        Jan 17, 2014 at 3:07 am
                                        The minister was doing what the police should have done. The police did not want to act because they would have had to explain the reason for entering the house without a warrant,which they did not want to do. There was nothing illegal in what the minister was wanting them to do. Do you want this nation to be a basket of rot? It's high time all ministers in India became vigilantes !!!
                                        1. P
                                          Jan 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm
                                          Subash is telling something to non-delhites... If "shut up" is the way you AAP folks tell to anyone who give advice, you can't bare free speach, it clearly says that you AK and his clones are the reincarnation of Russia's Stalin and gang.
                                          1. S
                                            Samar K
                                            Jan 17, 2014 at 2:26 pm
                                            Without warrants, barging into someone's house, breaking doors is simply nothing but anarchy. Please understand, if you support this activity today, Some loose cannon AAP actvist might break open your door someday (maybe personal grudge or just the wrong hosue) without any warrant or proof and you will not be able to do anything about it. Kiran Bedi rightly said to AAP, "Learn to do Governance and get out of this activism mode."Even their own respected member , Capt.Gopinath was insulted on live news by their own egoistic spokesperson, Ashutosh, for giving sensible advice that AAP needs to retrace a few steps and learn to fulfill the policy changes , in Delhi, not just distribute freebies and turn to vigilantes and stop focusing on Loksabha election.First Prove in Delhi for next 5 years and then talk about going national.Simple.An AAP Sympathiser and supporter.
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