New Delhi: Criminals helping Bharti evade arrest: Police

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi Police today said that Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti, who is evading arrest, is allegedly being helped by at least two persons who have long criminal records in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

“Bharti is behaving like a professional criminal and his conduct shows that either he is himself capable of thinking like one or he is taking help of others who have expertise in crime,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Dependra Pathak.

“We have information about at least two individuals – with long criminal records – who have been helping the legislator from the very first day since he has been evading arrest,” said Pathak.

Meanwhile, a team of police officials went to Bharti’s residence today and took his dog ‘Don’ to a vet clinic in south Delhi, to get the ailing labrador retriever examined. The dog suffers from a heart ailment and has been on medication for quite some time.

“When we learnt that the dog has not received medicines since its master became untraceable, trying to evade arrest, we sent cops from the local district and asked them to get the dog medically examined during Bharti’s absence,” said a senior police officer.

In her complaint to the police, the former Law minsiter’s wife, Lipika Mitra, had alleged that at times Bharti used to unleash his dog on her.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia expressed surprise over the entire episode and said that Bharti is being treated like a terrorist.

“The way police is searching for Bharti, as if he is a terrorist, and the way Bharti is avoiding arrest, both are surprising,” said Sisodia.

According to a senior police officer, Bharti, who was last tracked at a village near Agra, has left Uttar Pradesh and has moved to Haryana. Several police teams have been sent to the neighbouring state raiding his potential whereabouts.

The MLA has changed more than a dozen locations in the past two days, almost as many mobile phones and half-a-dozen vehicles in the said period, said the senior officer, adding that Bharti is also suspected to have camouflaged himself in different attires to avoid getting spotted.

“There are serious charges against Somnath Bharti and anyone harbouring him or providing shelter, logistics and other resources to him will be subjected to legal actions for the criminal offence,” said Dependra Pathak.

Pathak further said that the police have built up a “credible strategy” and Delhi Police have resolved to bring the former Law minister to the books.

Yesterday, The Supreme Court agreed to hear on Monday the bail plea of AAP MLA Somnath Bharti seeking protection from arrest in the attempt to murder and domestic violence case, registered on the basis of his wife’s complaint, in which the Delhi high court had already rejected his petition for anticipatory bail three days ago.

Bharti had moved the apex court seeking protection from arrest in the case and a direction to restrain Delhi Police from arresting him till his plea challenging the High Court order is decided.

The police have so far questioned more than 12 persons to know about Bharti’s whereabouts.

The ones questioned include his brother Loknath Bharti – whose name is also present on the complaint filed by Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra – and Bharti’s private secretary, apart from a few other employees in Bharti’s office and party workers from Malviya Nagar and Khirki Extension areas, the senior officer added.

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