A Delhi court on Tuesday said former Delhi Law Minister and AAP MLA Somnath Bharti and 16 others will face trial over the 2014 Khirki extension raid. Earlier this month, asking “what official duty” prompted AAP leader Somnath Bharti to allegedly assault “helpless women of foreign origin”, a Delhi court framed charges of assault, molestation and promoting enmity between two groups against him and others in connection with midnight raids conducted in Malviya Nagar’s Khirki Extension in January 2014.
Nine women from African nations, in their statements to the magistrate, alleged that a mob led by Bharti barged into their residence and assaulted and abused them, making derogatory remarks. Some alleged they were called prostitutes, were asked whether they hid drugs, and had their travel tickets torn.
An FIR was lodged by police in the case on the court’s direction after a Ugandan woman filed a plea on January 18, 2014.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal passed the directions after the AAP politician and others pleaded not guilty and said they will face trial. The court said there was sufficient prima facie case against all the accused persons to put them on trial. The charges were framed for the offences of molestation, assault, threat, promoting enmity, rioting and others under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The charges under sections 147/149 (rioting), 354 (molestation), 354C (voyeurism), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation), 143 (unlawful assembly), 509 (outraging a woman’s modesty), 153A (promoting enmity between two groups or religions), 323 (assault), 452 (house trespass), 427 (criminal trespass) and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) of the IPC were framed against the accused.
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