New Delhi: Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti surrendered before Delhi Police on Wednesday to join the investigation in a case of domestic violence registered against him by his wife Lipika Mitra.
On Wednesday, while presenting himself before Delhi police, Bharti rubbished the domestic violence case filed against him by his wife, saying he has audio and documentary evidence which would reveal the truth.
He told media, “I have audio and documentary evidence which will bring out the truth and prove that all the charges against me are false. The charge of attempt to murder has been put against me by the woman who says ‘sweetheart, when will you come home? I will take care of you’ in a text message. This message was send to me by her (Lipika) on February 25, 2015. Can you imagine a wife calling her husband in such a way if he is trying to murder her,” asked Bharti, whose anticipatory bail was denied by a trial court but was given relief till Thursday by the Delhi High Court.
Bharti, an Aam Aadmi Party legislator from Malviya Nagar, further said that he was not hiding from law and was only trying to save himself from Delhi Police that was “acting on the orders of the centre”.
Earlier, Bharti had approached the Delhi High Court for anticipatory bail on Tuesday, and surrendered hours after he was given protection against arrest till September 17. The AAP MLA is facing a non-bailable warrant on charges of domestic violence and attempt to murder by his wife.
Following a late night brainstorming session on the issue with party members, Bharti is believed to have been asked to join police investigation.
If taken into custody, Bharti will be the fourth AAP MLA to be arrested. In the last four months, AAP MLAs Jitendra Singh Tomar, Manoj Kumar and Surinder Singh have been arrested by Delhi Police in different cases.
How boring and hard is it to sit back at home during lockdown? No new episodes, no new movies, no delicious restaurant food, no car rides, no parties, no meetups with friends, and no travel plans.
But do we realize how privileged we are to be able to safely sit back at home? We are privileged enough to have a roof on our head, privileged enough to have sufficient food and savings, privileged enough to have our loved ones close, privileged enough to sleep at night when millions are dying outside, privileged enough to watch movies when the world is going through a crisis.
There are thousands of people who are stranded on the roads, away from family and hometown, with no source of income, no shelter, no food and no money to survive themselves. They’re dependent on the society and government for survival.
While the government has instructed us to stay home to prevent us from catching coronavirus, these people have no other choice than living on the streets. They’re highly exposed to the virus and can catch it anytime. With public transport shut, these people precisely the migrant workers, are forced to walk thousands of miles to their hometowns. Many of them fail to survive throughout the journey and lose their lives.
There are hundreds of such workers who have to sleep under the bridges or on the roads together. This also results in the suspension of social distancing norms which can increase the threat of the deadly virus. How worse can it get than being stranded thousands of miles away from home, with no money and resources to survive or return during a pandemic outbreak?
The sorrows don’t end here.
Many families, who have shelter, food, money, etc are in great pain too. The pain of separation from loved ones. So many people from rich or middle-class backgrounds have been tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus mainly because of travel history.
While the death toll is increasing every day, the lives of families whose members have been tested positive for COVID-19 have turned into a nightmare. The people who are tested positive are quarantined in hospitals while the family members are not allowed to meet them till they have recovered completely. There is no surety of recovery of any person. Now imagine the amount of fear, stress, and pain the family goes through.
You have your loved ones suffering from a virus and the best you can do is not meet them, when you have no clue whether they’ll survive or not. You have no idea how the person is being treated in the hospital and you’ll never get to know when they need you. Even if you know, you can do nothing about it. How hard can this get further? On the other hand, the patient who has been quarantined is going through other stress. Imagine being away from family, not feeling well, the negativity of people dying around you, living with strangers for days, and with no guarantee of life. The story is equally difficult on both sides.
Many people are losing their lives because of COVID-19 and the loved ones even not even able to visit their dead bodies.
If you still haven’t realized how privileged you are, then think about the hundreds and thousands of women and children who’re going through domestic violence and sexual abuse while in lockdown. They’re stuck with their abusers under the same roof. And they’ll be abused physically, mentally and sexually till the lockdown is lifted. The world has seen a significant increase in domestic violence cases since the outbreak of coronavirus has restricted us into our homes.
Can we now realize and respect the privileges we have, while many others are facing the biggest tragedies of their lives every day? Not being able to enjoy and go out is not a “problem” when more than half of the human race is struggling for life.
While you half-heartedly eat homemade food, someone is dying of hunger. While you complain about not being able to go out, someone is dying of walking thousands of miles outside. While you get bored of watching movies, someone is waiting to look at their loved ones for one last time. While you fight with your family in lockdown, someone is walking miles to meet theirs.
Let’s start valuing the things we have and stop complaining about the basic inconveniences in life.
The enforcement of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus has put one vulnerable group more at risk in Bihar.
Domestic violence has escalated in the state as women confined to their homes during the lockdown have no escape from their abusers.
Former Bihar Youth Congress leader Lalan Kumar on Tuesday said, “The cases of domestic violence against women have seen a dramatic rise in all the police stations records in the state since the imposition of lockdown. This shows police inaction while the state has a shortage of women staff in all the stations.”
“Recently the National Commission for Women (NCW) released a figure which says that in March alone, the commission registered 587 complaints in connection with domestic violence”, Kumar said.
He demanded from the state government that women police personnel should be appointed in each police station as soon as possible.
Kumar said, “A spate of rape cases has also been reported in the state during the lockdown. A minor girl was gang raped by five youths in Darbhanga on May 8. On the same day, another gang rape of a minor girl in Kishanganj also came to light. On May 1, a minor girl in the state capital was raped.”
Though arrests were made in some cases, but in the maximum number of such incidents the criminals were still at large, he alleged. (IANS)
What are the crimes against women? Who are the people committing these heinous crimes? What punishment do they deserve? Can these be committed even during the lockdown? We owe so many answers to the women of this country. The world is facing an international emergency right now with most of the nations being locked down, India being one of them. However, does the lockdown prevent these horrifying crimes?
Between 1 April to 15 April, when India continued to be in lockdown, the Delhi Police received 21 reports of rape.“In some cases, it was rape by known persons including uncles, friends, and neighbours. We are analysing this data,” a senior police officer was quoted saying. Besides these, 31 cases of molestation were also reported in two weeks. Even though there’s a 42% drop in the Delhi crime rate, but a crime against women hasn’t completely stopped.
A 53-year-old visually challenged woman was allegedly raped inside her flat by an unidentified man in Shahpura, Bhopal in the early hours of 17th April. The woman works as a manager in a state bank and her husband was stuck in his hometown in Rajasthan due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
How shameful can it get further? If the women of this nation can’t feel safe in these times of national emergency, when the whole country is supposed to be indoors, then will they be safe ever?
The ladies who are lucky enough not to be raped are facing domestic violence. Domestic violence increases whenever families spend time together, even during festivals. Then a lockdown that began due to the apocalyptic scenario of death and disease, is the exact opposite of a happy occasion. Why do we expect abuse to not take place?
According to the data by National Commission For Women, 257 cases of crime against women for 10 days starting from 23 March to 1 April of lockdown were recorded. On the other hand, 116 cases were recorded for seven normal days from 2 March to 8 March. The ten days of the lockdown also saw an increase in domestic violence cases which rose to 69 as of 1 April, as compared to 30 cases between 2 March to 8 March.
Some reports suggest that in India, alcohol consumption by men increases violence against women. Therefore, an increase in the number of domestic violence cases and other crimes against women could be induced by confinement, stress, and unemployment which further results in the consumption of alcohol. There is also a view that the joint family system could protect Indian women against domestic violence.
The lockdown might protect women from Coronavirus but will fail to protect them from all sorts of violence.