CHANDIGARH: A woman’s harrowing account of being chased on the streets of Chandigarh, tailgated and terrorised allegedly by the Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala’s son is on camera, the police say, adding that footage from five CCTV cameras on the route has been retrieved. 23-year-old Vikas Barala and his friend are accused by Varnika Kundu, the daughter of a Haryana bureaucrat, of stalking and trying to kidnap her. The police have rejected speculation that it is under pressure to engineer a cover-up for the BJP, which rules Haryana. A senior woman officer is likely to be given charge of the investigation.
Here are the top 10 developments in Chandigarh stalking case:
1.”Chandigarh police has retrieved footage of five CCTV cameras on the route capturing the chase of the victim’s vehicle by the alleged vehicle,” senior officer Satish Kumar told NDTV, denying Congress allegations of missing cameras.
2.Varnika Kundu, a DJ, wrote in a Facebook post gone viral that the men blocked her way, banged on her windows and even tried to force the door open. Finally, a police patrol team came, responding to her SOS.
3.The 29-year-old wrote that she felt “lucky, because I’m not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere.”
4.Vikas Barala and his friend were arrested but let off within hours because the charges against them were bailable.
5.The police are yet to add the charge of kidnapping, an offence that does not allow bail. A senior Chandigarh police officer, Eish Sehgal, called it a “sensational case of stalking” and said: “We are investigating case with an open mind – if there is a section that needs to be added we shall add. Don’t make this a media trial.”
6.Speaking to NDTV, Ms Kundu said after being caught, the two claimed “it was a mistake”. She commented: “A mistake happens once…not for kilometres…Cops shouldn’t have to come and stop you.”
7.The BJP has rejected opposition calls for its Haryana chief’s resignation. “The case has nothing to do with him,” say party sources.
8.Mr Barala’s deputy Ramveer Bhatti was skewered on social media for questioning why Ms Kundu was “allowed to stay out late”. “Parents must take care of their children… they shouldn’t allow them to roam at night. Children should come home on time, why stay out at night?” Mr Bhatti said.
9.”It is none of his business, it is my business and my family’s what I do and where…If it wasn’t for men like these, I wouldn’t be unsafe going out… whether it was 12 am or 2 am or 4 am,” Ms Kundu hit back.
10.Kirron Kher, the BJP MP from Chandigarh, condemned her party colleague Mr Bhatti’s comments and said: “There is no watering down of the case. I have been assured that the CCTV footage will be safe and the police will act.”