NEW DELHI -- A day after the Delhi Hight Court granted him protection from arrest till September 17, Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Somnath Bharti, who is charged with domestic violence and attempt to murder, surrendered before the Delhi police on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Delhi Police said that Bharti, who was the law minister in AAP's 49-day government, had ignored several requests for interrogation. While describing it as a personal matter, his own party urged him to cooperate with the investigators.
Bharti has refuted accusations of domestic violence harassment, and torture since 2010, levelled by his wife, Lipika Mitra, and today he questioned whether Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi was acting on the behest of the Modi government to secure a seat in the Bharatiya Janata Party after he retired.
DP seems 2 hv no interest in doing investigation bt ws interested in wrking at PMO behest 2 send pol across nation 2 arrest me 2 plz modi ji— Adv. Somnath Bharti (@attorneybharti) September 16, 2015
Sri Bassi, CP is passing political statements at whose behest. Modi ji? and for what consideration, securing BJP seat post retirement?— Adv. Somnath Bharti (@attorneybharti) September 16, 2015
Bassi pointed out that it wasn't the Delhi Police which had levelled charges against Bharti. "Im surprised that Somnath Bharti is casting such accusations on Delhi Police, like we are the ones who brought about the case," he told ANI. "It is a case of domestic violence which we handled very sensitively, tried to mediate as well."
Bharti has also claimed that he has audio and documentary evidence which will prove his wife wrong.
"The allegation of attempt to murder has been put on me by the lady, who says 'sweet heart when you will come home, I will take care of you' in an SMS. This SMS was sent to me by her (Lipika Mitra) on February 25, 2015. Can you imagine a wife calling her husband in such a way who is trying to murder her?" he said.
So far, three AAP lawmakers - Jitendra Singh Tomar, Surinder Singh and Manoj Kumar - have been arrested, this year.
Last month, Bharti courted controversy for saying, 'Beautiful women laden with jewelries can travel at midnight fearlessly is the kind of benchmark one can measure security level at Delhi against, if AAP has police control."
Last year, Bharti faced severe criticism for his vigilante-midnight raid against Ugandan and Nigerian women living in Khirki Extension, who locals accused of running a drug and prostitution racket, but the AAP government backed its minister.