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FIR against midnight raid

New Delhi, Jan. 19 (PTI): A city court has ordered registration of an FIR against unknown persons in connection with the midnight raid on some African women by a group after Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti accused the foreigners of being involved in a drug trafficking and prostitution racket.

Metropolitan magistrate Chetna Singh directed that video footage of the incident in south Delhi be shown to the foreign nationals for identification. The FIR will be filed against those identified, the magistrate said.

Later in the evening, Delhi police filed an FIR against unknown persons.

Television footage on news channels had shown Bharti asking police officers to conduct the raid, saying he had received complaints of a drug-and-prostitution racket in that area.

The women — two Nigerians and two Ugandans — had in their complaint said they were assaulted by the group, which had barged into their house. Rakesh Sherawat, lawyer for the women, said the minister and his associates were involved in the incident. He said the women could identify the accused through video footage and newspaper clippings.

The court has ordered the registration of the FIR under IPC sections 451 (house trespass), 427 (mischief), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).

In their petition to the court, the women had alleged that they were subjected to a cavity search during their medical examination at AIIMS, which was a humiliating experience. They also alleged that the minister and his people had asked them in public to give urine samples.

The women had earlier approached the Malviya Nagar police station seeking action against the men who had allegedly roughed them up between 1am and 3am on the intervening night of January 15-16.

When asked about the matter, Bharti said: “The whole incident would have been recorded by the TV cameras present there. I don’t think any of our workers hit anyone there or said anything to anyone.”

The AAP leader added: “We are the people who get beaten up and abused. We do not abuse anyone. The second thing and the biggest mistake being made by everyone is that no one is paying attention to the problem of drugs which is ruining our youth.”

He said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal would release some information later “which will have many facts”.