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Domestic violence: Somnath Bharti skips questioning

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New Delhi :Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti, who has been booked for attempt to murder, domestic violence and other criminal charges on his wife’s complaint, today did not turn up for questioning before police which had sent a notice to him last night.

According to a senior police official, the notice was sent to the AAP leader’s Malviya Nagar residence last night and the legislator had agreed to come to the Dwarka North police station by 11 AM today. Bharti told the police that he would first go to the court and then head towards the police station.

However, when Bharti did not turn up till 2 PM, a police official was sent to his residence. But he was not present there. His mobile phone was also found to be switched off, said a senior official.

“We had called Somnath Bharti and as per the latest information, he did not turn up. But I hope he will fully cooperate with the police, because it is utmost necessary to take his version in this case,” said Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi.

“I don’t think that he will go against the law. If he doesn’t come, necessary action will be taken as per law,” he said.

Responding to a question about whether Bharti will be arrested, Bassi said, “Our investigation is on. We will take all necessary steps that are to be taken in the course of the investigation.”

“I hope Bharti will cooperate with the police, like any other responsible citizen,” Bassi added.

On Wednesday, Delhi Police registered an FIR against Somnath Bharti, three months after his wife Lipika Mitra filed a case of domestic violence against him, levelling serious charges including that of “unleashing” dogs on her when she was pregnant.

Mitra also told the police that on March 27 and 28, Bharti had allegedly subjected her to severe violence and also tried to slit her wrist, said Joint Commissioner of Police (southwest) Devendra Pathak.

“The FIR was registered at Dwarka North police station under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 498a (cruelty towards partner in marriage), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC,” said Pathak.

Following the registration of the FIR, a Delhi court recorded the statement of Mitra before Metropolitan Magistrate Manu Goel Kharb in-chamber under Section 164 of CrPC.

PTI