A little over two weeks after he was accused of 'vigilantism' and 'racism' for leading a raid in a south Delhi neighbourhood to bust an alleged drug and sex racket involving Ugandan nationals, law minister Somnath Bharti seems to have turned the tables on the Delhi Police and his detractors.
Three Ugandan women living in the same neighbourhood - Khirki extension in Malviya Nagar - have now come forward and blown the lid off what appears to be an international drug and sex racket.
On directions of a magistrate, who recorded the statements of the three women on Monday, the Delhi Police have now registered a case under human trafficking against unknown persons.
Bharti came down heavily on the Delhi Police for their "pathetic" response to the revelations of the racket.
The law minister claimed that it was not the Delhi Police alone but also officials in Ugandan High Commission in Delhi and the Indian Consulate in Uganda who were complicit in this racket.
"Power in favour of the racketeers is huge. They will throw all their weight to divert the issue, " Bharti said, speaking to reporters.
The Ugandan nationals, in an interview to CNN IBN, have said that they were trafficked to India on the pretext of jobs but were forced into prostitution and held hostage by the drug mafia which took away their passports once they arrived here.
The traffickers, the women said, told them that it was pointless to try and and escape because they had connections with the Delhi Police and officials at the Ugandan High Commission.
Relating the events the led to the Ugandan women coming forward, Bharti said "While I was being called a racist, I was trying to bring about harmony between the two communities. I suggested to the local residents in Malviya Nagar that they form an Indo-African coordination committee.
"On January 31, representatives of both communities called me and we held a meeting. I assured them that I would extend all my support to them. Some of them told me personally that they were living in hell. I told them that if any of them should come across any instance of women being forced into prostitution, they should inform me and I will do everything to rescue them."
After the meeting, Bharti said, local residents started to get messages from members of the African community and one of the locals, a woman, spoke to them.
"The locals then met them and approached the deputy commissioner because they didn't trust the local police."
Alleging that the Indian consulate in Uganda was also turning a blind eye to this racket, Bharti "The Indian consulate in Uganda does not ask any questions to lone women about how they'll support themselves financially when they arrive in India."
Bharti claimed the three Ugandan women were "extremely scared" and that they "feared for their lives".
Asked about the police cases that have been registered by some other Ugandan women from Khirki against the controversial raid that he was a part of, Bharti said, "They were forced by the police to make those complaints. I have credible information."
Your guide to the latest cricket World Cup stories, analysis, reports, opinions, live updates and scores on https://www.firstpost.com/firstcricket/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019.html. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates throughout the ongoing event in England and Wales.
Updated Date: Feb 05, 2014 09:27:25 IST