Khirki Extension raids helped Bharti grow in stature
Former Law Minister Somnath Bharti might have faced flak for the infamous Khirki Extension raid last year but ahead of Delhi assembly polls people in Malviya Nagar are warming up to him for breaking the nexus between police, drug and sex racketeers.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Bharti might not have allowed the police to follow its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) but it hardly matters to the common people in Khirki Extension and the rest of the Malviya Nagar constituency, even as Yoganand Shastri of Congress and Nandini Sharma of BJP are attacking him for taking the law into his hand.
The residents in Khirki Extension and nearby localities allege that police patronage had allowed drug and sex rackets to flourish in the neighbourhood. If Somnath Bharti’s style of working was the talk of town then and now he has emerged as an icon for breaking the unholy nexus . People say the midnight raid on January 16 had exposed the true face of Delhi Police.
The voters are sympathetic to the African women who were allegedly forced to urinate to collect samples but blame the police for the mess. Public perception is that police inaction forced Bharti to intervene that night, and most people are behind him in the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls.
“As the area had become a hub of drug traffickers and sex workers, it had ruined the lives of locals. The role of police was also under scanner as they failed to check the traffickers. Despite lodging complaints on a regular basis, police had failed to take proper action against the brazen mafia. Though Bharti created controversy due to his act but it helped to quell the traffickers mushrooming here. Now we hardly spot gathering of traffickers at any points for luring customers,” said a local resident requesting anonymity.
The RWA office bearers too exuded confidence in Bharti and his style of working on the controversial issue which led to AAP becoming unpopular in some upper middle class circles in Delhi. Residents were relieved after the raid, they said.
“The drug mafia had not just hit the present generation but had put the next generation in danger also. If Bharti would not have taken the step, there would have been a different picture,” said an office bearer on condition of anonymity. Though AAP’s opponents allege that through the January 15 Khirki Extension raid, Bharti had dishonored women but he told Millennium Post that: “Being a representative of the area, it is my duty to cleanse the environment and I did the same. I successfully eradicated the drug trafficking issue in tenure as an MLA. Though it was tough yet I won the battle. And the residents, especially women, thanked me for uprooting drug mafias. My focus will be to eliminate all the drug traffickers in the areas like Arjun Nagar, Humayunpur and other places of my constituency in my next tenure”.
Residents in Khirki Extension allege that police patronage had allowed drug and sex rackets to flourish in the neighbourhood. If Somnath Bharti’s style of working was the talk of town then, now he has emerged as an icon for breaking the unholy nexus. People say the midnight raid on January 16 had exposed the true face of Delhi Police