Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti on Thursday became the second AAP MLA to be arrested within a span of two days, deepening Delhi government’s rift with the Centre as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal targeted the Prime Minister for “working overtime” to target AAP instead of perpetrators of the Uri attack.
But Delhi Police also received setbacks during the day as both Bharti and Okhla Amantullah Khan, arrested on Wednesday secured bail. Bharti also lashed out at PM Narendra Modi for “finding enemies” within AAP.
Bharti was arrested on charges of inciting a crowd to damage part of the AIIMS boundary wall and misbehaving with security officials on 9 September. The controversial AAP legislator was arrested last September also on charges of domestic violence.
The case against Bharti was registered on a complaint filed by chief security officer of AIIMS R S Rawat. In his complaint to police, Rawat had alleged that Bharti had provoked the mob to damage the fence of the hospital with JCB at Gautam Nagar Nallah road in order to give access to unauthorised persons inside AIIMS property and also misbehaved with security personnel.
The case was registered against Bharti under IPC sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of his public functions), 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) and 3/4 Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. “Modiji’s police is focusing on AAP instead of Pakistan.
He is finding enemies in AAP. Through his actions, he has discredited two institutions, the AIIMS and the Delhi Police,” Bharti told reporters after getting bail.
Khan was arrested in connection with a sexual harassment case filed by his sister-in-law. This is the second time in three months that Khan has been arrested by the Delhi Police on complaints by women.
Khan was earlier arrested on 24 July on a complaint by a Jasola resident who alleged that he tried to mow her down after she visited his residence to raise the issue of power cuts. He was released on bail on 28 July.
Fifteen AAP MLAs have been booked by Delhi Police till now on various charges and 12 have been arrested. The Aam Aadmi Party has alleged political vendetta in the action against its lawmakers by Delhi Police, which comes under the Union Home Ministry.
Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain described the police action as a “diversionary tactic” in view of elections in Goa and Punjab next year.
“This is poll season and till the elections are not over in Goa and Punjab, arrests like these will keep happening,” Jain said.