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BJP, AAP engage in war of words over woman’s suicide

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New Delhi: BJP and AAP today indulged in a political slugfest over the suicide of a female AAP worker who was allegedly harassed by a party colleague, even as Delhi Police registered a case of abetment to suicide and handed over the entire matter to a Special Investigation Team.

BJP legislator and Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta alleged the entire AAP dispensation was “responsible” for the death of the 28-year-old woman, who had been “sexually harassed” by a few “members of AAP” for the past few months.

However, AAP’s Delhi Convenor Dilip Pandey claimed that the accused Ramesh Bhardwaj, who was arrested and later released on bail, was not a member of AAP as claimed by BJP and that the party had extended all possible help to the woman when she had approached it with the complaint.

“It is a fact that she had contacted the party. The party assisted her and got an FIR lodged. In fact, the Chief Minister’s Office had called the DCP’s office in this regard,” he said.
The woman committed suicide in Narela area of outer Delhi yesterday, with her family members claiming that she had gone into depression after her alleged molester, a party colleague, was released on bail. She had alleged that the accused was being protected by the local MLA.

The woman consumed poisonous substance at her home in Narela in the afternoon and died during treatment at LNJP Hospital.

Police today registered a case under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of IPC against unknown persons and both cases—the one related to sexual harassment and the other in connection with suicide—were handed over to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to be headed by Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch).

The SIT will also include a Deputy Commissioner, two inspectors and Assistant Commissioner. The woman had filed a complaint against Bhardwaj for allegedly touching her inappropriately and a case of molestation was registered in June and the accused was arrested, said a senior police officer.

The SIT will look into Whatsapp chats, statements and video recordings of the woman before she committed suicide, said the officer. Meanwhile, NCW Chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam has said she will tomorrow pay a visit to the family of the woman.

“We will visit the family to provide moral support, not for any political reason. In such cases, where celebrities or people in power (are involved), the accused often get away with impunity and that is why we have decided to step in and get her family justice in whatever way we can,” she said.

PTI

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