Woman journalist accuses AAP’s Somnath Bharti of hurling abuses; files FIR
On Wednesday, Delhi MLA Somnath Bharti was booked on charges of hurling abuses at a woman journalist. On the contrary, the the Aam Aadmi Party leader claimed that the TV news channel was ‘misusing’ its power.
A police official had said that a FIR against the AAP MLA was lodged in Noida on the complaint of the woman journalist of a private TV news channel, who accused him of calling her names.
The journalist, who works as a news anchor with the TV channel, in her complaint to the police reported, “During a live TV debate, the Malviya Nagar MLA, Somnath Bharti, hurled abuses at me and told me to become a prostitute.”
She alleged, “I am a journalist and understand the responsibility while asking questions but he abused me and called me an agent of the BJP. He threatened to get our channel shut down. The kind of words he used for a woman were simply offensive and demeaning.”
The official said that the concerned scribe had lodged the complaint at the Women Police Station in Noida and a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the MLA under sections 504 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code. While Section 504 of the IPC lists the offence of heaping ‘intentional insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace’, section 509 pertains to ‘insulting a woman’s modesty through words, gestures or an act,’ the official further added.
Bharti, in his defense, said he had joined the TV show over phone to discuss the attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, but the video was being presented with manipulation.
He claimed, “We were discussing the life-threatening attack on Kejriwal. Such cases show that the channel is part of the BJP and they are trying to distract people’s attention from main issues.”
Bharti told PTI, “I will file a defamation case against both the news anchor as well as the channel.”
Earlier, Somnath Bharti had apologised to the anchor, saying that his words were not targeted towards her.
Further, Bharti took to his Twitter account and tweeted, “Since I am a devotee of Lord Ardhanarishvara (Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati) together, Shakti is inseparable from Shiva. I believe that all females are SHAKTI and I bow before them. Though my words were not targeted towards the lady anchor, still if my words have hurt her sentiments, my sincere apologies!.”
Previously too, this particular MLA from AAP had courted controversies by resorting to a midnight ‘raid’ against an alleged ‘sex racket’ involving African women in Delhi. Not just that, Somanth Bharti is also facing a case of domestic violence lodged by his wife.