Under fire for alleged domestic violence, the former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti has surrendered to the Delhi Police to join the investigation in a case of domestic violence registered against him, by his wife. Bharti, an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator from Malviya Nagar, had approached the Delhi High Court for anticipatory bail on Tuesday, and surrendered hours after he was given protection against arrest till September 17. Following a late night brainstorming session on the issue with party members, Bharti is believed to have been asked to join the police investigation.
If taken into custody, Bharti will be the fourth AAP MLA to be arrested. In the last four months, AAP MLAs Jitendra Singh Tomar, Manoj Kumar and Surinder Singh have been arrested by Delhi Police in different cases.
Earlier, Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra, had alleged that he had tried to kill her on two occasions.
In her statement recorded before a judicial magistrate , Mitra alleged that Bharti had slit her wrist with a sharp object in front of their children. He also physically abused her, she said. The violence perpetrated by Bharti traumatised the two children so much that they remained disturbed for the next few days, Lipika is reported to have said.
This is not, however, Bharti’s first brush with the law. He is also fighting molestation charges for alleged action against African women during a midnight raid at Khirki Extension in January last year.
During the hearing, the judge also asked Mitra whether she was open to mediation. She, however, said it would not be possible as she feared Bharti was a serial abuser. The couple were wed in 2010.