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Saddened by 'character assassination', Maliwal urges INDIA leaders to meet

Swati Maliwal says she was beaten at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's house and then her 'character was assassinated'

Swati Maliwal, Swati, Maliwal

New Delhi: AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal leaves the Tis Hazari Court after hearing in connection with the case of alleged assault on her, in New Delhi, Monday, May 27, 2024. (Photo: PTI)

Nandini Singh New Delhi

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Months after alleging that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's aide assaulted her, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal on Tuesday wrote a letter to INDIA bloc leaders and requested that they meet her.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Maliwal said he had handled 170,000 cases during her nine-year tenure at the Delhi Commission for Women.

Claiming that she had improved the Women's Commission status, Maliwal said that it is saddening that first she was beaten at the chief minister's house and then her "character was assassinated."

"Unfortunately, after becoming a Member of Parliament, I was assaulted by the PA [Bibhav Kumar] of the Chief Minister of Delhi at his residence on 13 May, 2024. Following this traumatic incident, I took the necessary step of filing a police complaint. Regrettably, instead of finding support, I was confronted with incessant attacks on my character and victim shaming orchestrated by the leaders and volunteers of my own party. A smear campaign was organised in the electronic and social media to undermine my reputation, character and credibility." Maliwal wrote in her letter.

Maliwal also alleged receiving threats of rape and death, attributing them to malicious falsehoods spread against her.

"Due to the lies spread against me, I have been receiving multiple rape and death threats," Maliwal added.

"Over the past one month, I have encountered first-hand the pain and isolation a survivor faces when she fights for justice. The brutal victim shaming and character assassination I have been subjected to, would discourage other women and girls from speaking up against abuse," said Maliwal.

"I would like to seek your time to discuss this pertinent issue. I await your response for the same." she concluded.

Maliwal had previously asserted that she was targeted with rape and death threats following a campaign of character assassination purportedly orchestrated by AAP leaders and volunteers.

She also accused YouTuber Dhruv Rathee of worsening the hate campaign by releasing a biased video against her.

While sharing several screenshots of abusive messages and rape threats which she had received on social media platforms, Maliwal said that she has been subjected to character assassination and victim shaming allegedly by her own party colleagues.

"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," Maliwal said in the X post.

This comes after the Maliwal accused Kumar of physically torturing and manhandling her. She alleged that Kumar slapped her seven to eight times, 'kicked on the chest, stomach, and pelvis area,' and threatened to kill her when she went to meet Kejriwal at his official residence.

The AAP has refuted these allegations, stating that Maliwal is being “blackmailed” by the BJP  as part of a larger conspiracy.

Kumar, who is under arrest, faces charges under Sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force on woman with intent to disrobe), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt)of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He is in judicial custody until June 22.

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First Published: Jun 18 2024 | 2:41 PM IST

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