NEW DELHI: An Aam Aadmi Party leader from Agra who allegedly harboured party MLA Somnath Bharti during the period he evaded arrest has been booked for criminal breach of trust in UP today.
The accused, identified as Baney Singh (50), who the police claims is a local AAP leader at Agra, took Bharti to his distant relative Lal Singh's house at Sakatpur village near Agra when the MLA was on a run, said a senior Delhi Police official.
There Baney Singh borrowed Lal Singh's Maruti Alto car, telling him that the legislator had to move around the area for some official work and they shall return in a few hours. But he did not keep his promise, said the official.
By the time Bharti surrendered, Delhi Police also managed to track the owner of the car in which the MLA was found to be moving around most of the time throughout the period in which he was evading arrest. When cops approached Lal Singh, it emerged that Singh was cheated by his own relative. Lal Singh later approached the Jagdishpur police station today and an FIR was registered based on his complaint, said the senior official.
Delhi Police had earlier said that any person who has harboured 41-year-old Bharti has committed criminal offence and he/she is liable to be prosecuted. The police are also in the process of serving a notice to Baney Singh asking him to join the probe immediately. He has to confront Bharti in police custody, the senior official added.
Meanwhile, Bharti has so far remained tight-lipped in the police interrogation and has not disclosed names of anyone who had allegedly provided him with shelter during the time he evaded arrest, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Dependra Pathak. Given only two days to interrogate the former law minister under its custody, Delhi Police have set up its itinerary for utmost time management.
"Bharti shall be taken to his residence by midnight in order to recover the knife with which he had allegedly tried to slit his wife's wrist. The succeeding day shall be reserved for his pet dog's examination in his presence," said a senior official.
Bharti's wife Lipika Mitra had alleged that he used to unleash his labradior retriever "Don" on her when she was pregnant and also showed bite marks around her abdomen. "It is very essential to ascertain whether, and to what extent, the dog follows its master's commands and the process shall be monitored by an expert," said the senior official, adding that the cops will also take the dog's dental imprints as forensic evidence in the case.
Delhi Police is also likely to seek extension of police custody for Bharti. "Once the investigation in Delhi is finished upto an extent, he has to be taken to Agra, Mathura and other places where he had been during the period he dodged the cops and disclose about resources - like vehicles, mobile phones, etc - he was supplied with and other necessary input crucial to the probe," the senior official added.
AAP MLA Somnath Bharti was arrested in the wee hours today in connection with domestic violence and attempt to murder case. Later, he was sent to police custody for two days by a Delhi court.