• Monday, June 24, 2024

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India opposition MP, an ex women’s rights body chief, accuses own party member of assaulting her

Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal (R) gestures during a press conference in New Delhi on January 31, 2018. The press conference was done on the issue of rape of an eight-month old Indian girl at her home in Delhi, the latest such case in a country notorious for high level of sexual violence. / AFP PHOTO / MONEY SHARMA (Photo credit should read MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

IN a development that would cause much discomfort for India’s opposition INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc in the ongoing national elections, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) parliamentarian Swati Maliwal has alleged that she was slapped several times, dragged and kicked in the chest by an aide of Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of Delhi and the party’s convener.

In her complaint, Maliwal, 39, who is also a former chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women, said that on Monday (13) morning, she was assaulted by Bibhav Kumar in the drawing room of Kejriwal’s official residence in New Delhi, with the latter present in the house at the time.

She gave the details saying Kumar had not only slapped her seven to eight times on the face but also hit her in the chest, abdomen and sensitive parts without any provocation. She also accused that he did not listen to her despite her plea to let her go and kept on beating and abusing her in Hindi. According to her, he told her, “We will see, we will deal with it.” She also said that she urged him to stop since she was menstruating and in much pain.

“I felt absolutely shocked and was screaming for help over and over again. In order to protect myself, I pushed him away with my legs. At that time, he pounced on me, brutally dragged and deliberately pulled my shirt up,” the first information report (FIR) filed by Maliwal read, according to an NDTV report.

“After that, Bibhav Kumar did not relent and attacked me by kicking me in my chest, stomach and pelvis area with his legs.”

She added that she managed to run out of the house and called the police.

“I was in a terrible state of shock at this ed attack. I was deeply traumatised and called the 112 number and reported the incident,” Maliwal said in the FIR.

The Delhi Police later took her to the All India Institute of Medical Science Trauma Centre for a medical examination.

When officers reached the residence of Kumar in the city’s Chandrawal Nagar area, he was not there. Active hunt is currently underway to trace the accused.

The police registered an FIR under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code, including assault or criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty. It was filed after Maliwal’s statement was recorded by a police team led by additional commissioner PS Kushwaha.

The National Commission for Women has also summoned Kumar for a hearing, taking suo moto cognisance of the MP’s allegations.

However, in her complaint, Maliwal refrained from directly accusing Kejriwal of any wrongdoing but noted that he was present at the residence during the incident.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has slammed Kejriwal and his party. The AAP leader was released on an interim bail from jail recently for three weeks by the Supreme Court of India and has been campaigning for the remaining phases of the national elections.

The chief minister avoided questions over the Maliwal incident at a press conference in Lucknow on Thursday (16) where he was seen alongside his party’s MP Sanjay Singh and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

Singh answered the question by invoking crimes against women in the northeastern state of Manipur which is ruled by the BJP; the case involving Prajwal Revanna, the fugitive MP from a party which is in alliance with the BJP in this election and accused of sexually assaulting several women; and the protest staged by India’s top wrestlers against outgoing BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a former chief of the country’s wrestling federation.

Singh invoked crimes against women in BJP-ruled Manipur, by BJP MP Prajwal Revanna and the protest of the wrestlers against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, general secretary of the Indian National Congress, which is in alliance with the AAP in a number of states in this election, expressed solidarity with Maliwal during a campaign trial in Uttar Pradesh the same day saying her party stood with women against any atrocity.

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