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Maliwal Claims She is Receiving Rape and Death Threats

Maliwal Claims She is Receiving Rape and Death Threats

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NEW DELHI, May 26: The former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha Member Swati Maliwal on Sunday said she had been receiving rape and death threats after a “character assassination” campaign allegedly orchestrated by party leaders and volunteers.

She said the situation escalated after the YouTuber Dhruv Rathee posted a one-sided video against her. “After the leaders and volunteers of my party, i.e., AAP orchestrated a campaign of character assassination, victim shaming, and fanning of emotions against me, I have been getting rape and death threats. This got further exacerbated when YouTuber @Dhruv_Rathee posted a one-sided video against me,” Ms Maliwal wrote on X on Sunday.

Swati Maliwal accused the party leadership of trying to intimidate her into withdrawing her complaint. She also expressed disappointment with Dhruv Rathee, saying that despite her efforts to contact him and share her side of the story, he ignored her calls and messages.

“It is shameful that people like him, who claim to be independent journalists, could act like other AAP spokespersons and victim-shame me to the extent that I am now facing extreme abuses and threats,” she added. Ms Maliwal listed several points that she felt were neglected in Dhruv Rathee’s 2.5-minute video:

She said Dhruv Rathee failed to mention: why the AAP took a U-turn after accepting that the incident happened; the ⁠MLC report that reveals injuries due to the assault; selected part of the video was released and then the phone of the accused was formatted; the accused was arrested from the crime scene (CM house). Why was he allowed to enter the place again? For tampering of evidence? and how a woman who always stood for the right issues, even went to Manipur alone without security could be bought over by the BJP?

“The manner in which the entire party machinery and its supporters have attempted to vilify and shame me speaks volumes about their stand on women’s issues. I am reporting these rape and death threats to @DelhiPolice. I hope they take strong action against the perpetrators,” Maliwal said. She concluded by noting, “In any case, if something happens to me, we know who instigated it.”

Ms Maliwal also opened up on the incidents following her assault at the CM’s residence. She revealed that she had gone to the Civil Lines police station and could not file a formal complaint in the matter as she got scared after receiving calls from several people. “I received several media calls when I was at the police station. The moment I received so many media calls, I got scared. I didn’t want to make it a political issue. I got up from there and returned home. Later, Sanjay Singh Ji came to meet me,” Swati Maliwal said.

She added, “I also received a call from Sanjay Singh. He told me: ‘hum dekhte hain’, kuch karenge’ (we will see and will do something). And I was so scared and completely traumatised. I was in a lot of pain after being badly beaten up (by Bibhav Kumar), so I couldn’t stay back to file a complaint. Sanjay ji also met me at my place. He saw my condition. After that he went to Arvind Kejriwal’s house and also met Bibhav.”

On May 14, Sanjay Singh, AAP Rajya Sabha, addressed a press conference and said the incident with Swati Maliwal was a “highly condemnable” one. The Delhi Police had also visited her residence on Minto Road.

On May 15, a day after the party accepted that Arvind Kejriwal’s personal assistant “misbehaved” with her, Sanjay Singh met Swati Maliwal again. Sanjay Singh was accompanied by Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) member Vandana Singh during his meeting with Swati Maliwal. The meeting took place at Maliwal’s residence.

Ms Maliwal also expressed disappointment at Mr Arvind Kejriwal’s response. “I am very hurt by how Kejriwal was behaving. I have been working with them since 2006. I was being beaten in his drawing room. I was screaming. Kejriwal was at home, but nobody came for my help,” Ms Maliwal said.

“Then while the party came to attack me, they victim-shamed me, they did press conferences, Arvind ji was seen with him (Bibhav), they did protest for him, they made him a hero and me a villain. My friends in the party were threatened not to stand with me. And now finally the CM is saying there are two versions and an unbiased investigation should be done.”

Bibhav Kumar was arrested on May 18 in connection with the assault on Maliwal at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on May 13. Mr Kumar, a former PS to Kejriwal, on Saturday moved a bail plea at a court, which has sought a response from Delhi Police. Kumar’s counsels moved the plea after he was sent to four days of judicial custody on Friday, court sources said the plea was listed for hearing on Monday.

Kumar had been in police custody after being arrested on May 18. His anticipatory bail plea filed last Saturday was observed as becoming “infructuous” by the court. The Delhi Police has claimed that Kumar was not cooperating in the investigation, was evasive in his replies and has not disclosed his mobile phone password.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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