NEW DELHI: Even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a stern message to AAP MLA Somnath Bharti said that he is becoming an “embarrassment” for the party and asked him to surrender in a domestic violence case filed by his wife, he continued to evade police and moreover moved the Supreme Court seeking protection from arrest.
Disapproving of Bharti going into hiding after High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea on Tuesday, Kejriwal asked him to cooperate with the police, wondering why he was scared of going to jail. Kejriwal also said that Bharti is becoming an embarrassment to the party.
“Somnath should surrender. Why is he running away? Why is he so scared of going to jail? Now he is becoming an embarrassment for the party and his family. He should cooperate with police,” Kejriwal tweeted.
But Bharti choose to evade police. Late in the evening, Bharti moved the Supreme Court seeking protection from arrest. “We have filed the application in the Supreme Court. Now, that we have approached the Supreme Court, I hope that Delhi Police will hold their horses and not trouble the staff and relatives of Bharti till the outcome of the application in the apex court,” Bharti’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said.
Bharti was not traceable after though police have raided several places including Bharti's residence and office but could not nab him. Raids have been conducted across the National Capital Region also.
Joint Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak said that several police teams are in search across National Capital Region, including Faridabad and Gurgaon to arrest Bharti.
The police even called Bharti’s brother Loknath Bharti and his private secretary on Tuesday evening to know about his whereabouts. They were allowed to go later in the night. On Wednesday morning, police picked up two more close aides of Bharti.
“We are questioning the duo picked up this morning regarding Bharti's whereabouts,” Pathak said.
In the meantime, Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra thanked Kejriwal for asking him to surrender.
“It is good that the chief minister has finally spoken out albeit after taking so much time. I am grateful to him,” she said.
She had filed a complaint of domestic violence with Delhi Commission for Women on June 10 alleging that her husband had been abusing her since their marriage in 2010. She had also given a complaint to the police in this regard. Police then registered an FIR against Bharti under various sections of Indian Penal Code.