The dog is fine. Beware of Somnath Bharti & wife
When news broke a few months ago that Somnath Bharti's wife Lipika had accused him of domestic violence, I, for one, wasn't surprised. A sizable African population in Delhi probably weren't either. That her complaint to the National Commission for Women was 26 pages-long was hardly a surprise either.
What was surprising though, were the details - Bharti was alleged to have set his dog upon his then-pregnant wife!
Just to be clear, what's surprising IS NOT that Bharti would do something that crazy. I just thought that if Bharti had a dog, it would be mounted on a wall, not kept as a pet. That seems more in line with the image Bharti has so carefully cultivated for himself.
The dog's story
So what was Bharti's dog? Something loud and aggressive like the man himself? No! Amazingly, Bharti went for a Labrador -- one he named Don. Still, most of Bharti's actions scream "overcompensation", so no surprises there. But, 'Don'? Really? Naming a lab Don is like naming a goldfish 'Shark - it's not going to make it any more aggressive and only makes both pet and owner look especially silly. Let's face it, that's not something Bharti needs any help with.
But thanks to Lipika's complaint, both Bharti and Don found themselves in the doghouse, so to speak. Well, Don did anyway. Bharti skipped town, leaving Don locked in his office even as Delhi's finest looked for the two.
It took the Delhi police 2 days to find Don. Maybe sniffer dogs refused to turn on one of their own
Don was eventually found two days after the search began, presumably on a tip off from a local cat. That the police took two days to find him, considering he was in one of the most obvious places possible, is incredible. Maybe their sniffer dogs refused to turn on their own. Maybe the Delhi police were trying to lull Don into a false sense of security. Maybe the Delhi police were just out to prove the Aam Aadmi Party's allegations of gross incompetence. Or perhaps they took Amitabh Bachchan's dialogue - Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai - a little too seriously.
If you ever wondered how the Delhi police are so perennially short of manpower to solve actual crimes, now you know.
Regardless, when the police did find Don, he was a veritable Cujo, foaming at the mouth, bloodlust in his eyes and.of course not. He's a Labrador. According to an NDTV report, the police described him as "overweight, mostly sleeps and eats, and barks when the AC is turned off". A description that applies to me on most days, let alone a pregnant woman-attacking bloodthirsty beast.
The clean chit
The Delhi police, not best known for their custodial skills when it comes to humans, were now in charge of an animal. Whether they tried to interrogate the animal is unclear, but at this point one puts nothing past the (zoo)keepers of Delhi's law and order.
Once they had Bharti in custody too, they tried to get Bharti to command his dog to bite and attack. Unsurprisingly the dog did nothing of the sort. Perhaps Bharti trained his dog in another language, perhaps Don outfoxed the police, or perhaps, just perhaps, Bharti's wife fabricated a tall tale in the hopes of petty revenge.
That last one, as a city court has now deemed, is the correct option. Lipika Bharti's statements about the dog attack, and another allegation of Bharti slitting her wrist, didn't add up according to the court. As a result, both Bharti and Don have now been given clean chits. Don is now innocent beyond doubt, even if Bharti is less so.
In this entire situation, the real travesty here is that Bharti and his wife are separating - because the two of them have proven that they're as rotten as each other. Don's a victim. The real animals here are the couple who'd let their dog suffer because they couldn't suffer each other.