Engineer beaten up by ‘AAP workers’
Controversial former Delhi Minister Somnath Bharti once again found himself in the eye of the storm on Monday when an executive engineer of South Delhi Municipal Corporation was allegedly beaten up by people wearing Aam Aadmi Party caps. The incident occurred at the venue of a protest called by the Minister.
The AAP leader and his supporters were protesting outside the Corporation’s office in Green Park against alleged irregularities in the recent demolition drive in the area.
However, Mr. Bharti said that no AAP worker was responsible for the attack. “It was a villager whose property had been demolished. The protest was about corruption in the Corporation’s Building Department,” he added.
“We have asked the Corporation for the CCTV recording to find out who the person was,” he said, adding that “no sort of violence is acceptable in AAP”.
The police said an FIR has been registered against unidentified persons for the attack on Mr Kumar under Section 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of duty) and 186 (obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions).
The AAP workers alleged that the civic body was targeting people who had supported the party. Mr. Bharti was seen shouting at the security personnel outside the SDMC office, though the police said he was not there when the executive engineer was attacked.
The Congress and the BJP too criticised the attack. “He [executive engineer] was going to the office to record his attendance, when he was pulled out and attacked,” said SDMC Leader of the House Subhash Arya.
On being informed of the incident at a House meeting on Monday, Councillors condemned the incident. “Everyone has a right to raise issues in a peaceful way in a democracy. There can be no manhandling, otherwise how will the system work,” said Congress Councillor Virender Kasana.
Mr. Bharti, the Law Minister in the Arvind Kejriwal Government, had led a ‘midnight raid’ against, what he called, a prostitution and drugs racket in Khirki Extension last month.
(With inputs from Shubhomoy Sikdar)