As police teams fan out to trace AAP MLA and former Delhi minister Somnath Bharti, wanted in a case of domestic violence and attempt to murder, his pet Labrador, which allegedly attacked his wife at his behest and is now at the centre of a police probe, is counting its days.
Veterinarians say Don, the Labrador, has a heart disease and requires regular medication. But the dog has not been fed the pills ever since Bharti went underground after the Delhi High Court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail.
Dr Pradeep Rana, a veterinarian who has been treating Bharti’s dog for two years, said: “Don is suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy and is now totally dependent on medicines. If we stop the medicines today, he will die in three days. At best, Don has six months to live.”
At his owner’s office in Khirki Extension, where locals have collected for any information on their MLA, Don is everyone’s concern.
Bharti’s assistant Gulshan Sharma said: “Don needs medicine thrice a day. We have not been able to give him his medicine for the last 24 hours since Somnath sir had locked all the medicine strips in his personal cabin. We plan to take him to his doctor.”
In her complaint to police, Bharti’s wife Lipika has accused him of unleashing the dog on her while she was pregnant and subjecting her to severe verbal, mental and physical torture. Though Bharti has now approached the Supreme Court, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has openly asked his MLA to surrender. On Wednesday, Kejriwal said Bharti had become an embarrassment to the party.
On Thursday, the Delhi police traced Bharti’s location to a village near Agra through technical surveillance and continued to question those close to Bharti. Those questioned so far include his brother Loknath, Bharti’s private secretary and employees and party workers in his office in Malviya Nagar.
“Bharti sir was present at his office until 9.30 am Tuesday and after meeting some locals of the area, he left. I am not in contact with him, but police are questioning me again and again, asking me the same question, where is Bharti sir. They even threatened to implicate me for harboring him. I have told them that I don’t know anything about his whereabouts,” said Gurpreet Singh, who has worked with Bharti eight months now.
Joint Commissioner of Police (South-Western range) Deependra Pathak said: \”By the time a police team could reach his last known location, he had disappeared. Bharti is evading arrest and behaving just like a professional criminal, changing his locations and mobile phones from time to time.”