10:20 pm - Tuesday November 3, 2015

Court Relief for AAP’s Somnath Bharti in Controversial Raid Targeting African Women

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A court in Delhi has set aside an order holding controversial former minister Somnath Bharti of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) guilty of racial prejudice because of a midnight raid that targeted African women.

Mr Bharti, who was law minister in the 49-day government of Arvind Kejriwal, had challenged an order by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)holding him guilty of “racial prejudice and unlawful acts” during a raid he led in his constituency in January.

“The NHRC did not take my statement while passing an order. There has been a political conspiracy against me and my party,” Mr Bharti said today.

In the raid in Khirki Extension, Ugandan women were allegedly abused over local complaints of a sex and drug trafficking ring. Mr Bharti was widely criticized for the late night raid and accused by the women of harassing them.

Despite the controversy, AAP has fielded Mr Bharti from the same constituency for the Delhi election due in February. The party has stood by Mr Bharti and said he only stepped in on the request of local people and tried to help them in busting a “prostitution and drug racket”.

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