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Delhi law minister accused of leading attack

Ugandan woman in her complaint says Law Minister Somnath Bharti led mob that attacked her on January 15.

Last updated: 22 Jan 2014 06:35
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Police "non-cooperation" with Bharti led to Chief Minister Kejriwal's unprecedented street protest

A Ugandan woman has recorded a statement before an Indian court accusing Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti of attacking her and other African women from Uganda and Nigeria in their home.  

Police have listed her as a prosecution witness in the case and she will later testify in court.

On the night of January 15, Bharti led a group of residents and barged in to her house, she said.

“We were attacked on Wednesday night by Indians who were led by Somnath Bharti. We were harassed, beaten and they were having long sticks. They said we should leave their country or else they would kill us one by one”, reports say.

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In her statement, she said she recognised Bharti on TV when scenes of the raid were flashed on television the next day.

Reports quoted her as saying, “The Delhi police came in time and saved us from the mob”.

Bharti was criticised for making racist remarks during that midnight raid with residents of a south Delhi colony accusing Ugandan and Nigerian nationals in their residential area of involvement in drugs and prostitution.

Police accompanying the minister refused to arrest them saying they had no warrants.

Protest

The law minister and the chief minister accused the police of non-cooperation. It led to a conflagration that was one of the reasons for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party going on “unprecedented protest” against the police in Delhi that came to an end on Tuesday night.  

Reports on TV and newspapers said the women had been “cavity searched” and compelled to give urine samples in the middle of the road with no cover and held for over four hours at night in the hospital.

The women were cleared in the drug tests, reports said.

India’s National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Delhi government for “racial prejudice”, a charge Bharti denies.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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