NEW DELHI -- Aam Aadmi Party leader Somnath Bharti, who is on the run to avoid arrest in the domestic violence case filed by his wife, will have to brace for more trouble in connection with his infamous vigilante-midnight raid against Ugandan and Nigerian women living in Khirki Extension, last year.
AAP government has approved sanction to prosecute Bharti for the Khirki extension raid, Times Now reported on Thursday.
With this step, the AAP government is taking a major step back from its previous defence of Bharti over the raid, and its objections to Lt. General Najeeb Jung sanctioning his prosecution in August.
Bharti's infamous raid against women of African descent, who locals accused of running a drug and prostitution racket, was a huge scandal to hit AAP's 49-day government in 2014. In the face of public outrage, however, the AAP leadership defended its leader, who was serving as law minister at the time.
In October, last year, the Delhi police said that “nine African women were victims of molestation and manhandling by a mob led by Bharti," and filed a chargesheet against him for several offences under the Indian Penal Code including molestation and outraging modesty of a woman.
But then the Delhi police had to wait for almost a year to get a prosecution sanction against the AAP leader.
AAP continued to defend Bharti after coming back to power in Delhi for the second time in February.
In August, Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain hit back at Jung for approving Bharti's prosecution without consulting the AAP government, and said that he was under pressure from the ruling-Bharatiya Janata Party at the centre to embarrass AAP.
"I think he is working under immense pressure from BJP. This case is over one year old and he (LG) had complete control of Delhi during that time. He could have taken the decision then. What provoked him to give his nod just before the Special Assembly session? There should be no politics over these issues," he said.
The AAP website has a page - The Truth About Khirki Extension - refuting allegations against Bharti.