BJP chief's son held for 'stalking' IAS officer's daughter in Chandigarh; probe should be free and fair

Chasing a woman walking down a lonely street can be horrifying experience for the day while on the other hand; some people enjoy stalking and passing remarks just for amusement. Stalking is a kind of assault which prevents girls from roaming in roads freely in the late hours. One of the recent incidents of stalking was reported in Chandigarh in which Haryana BJP Chief's son Vikas Baral (23) in his white SUV was seen racing behind Chandigarh DJ Varnika Kundu's black car and he later even tried to break into her car after the long chase but fortunately he was nabbed by the police. The whole incident was captured on CCTV footage.

The girl posted the incident details on the Facebook which went viral as she explained how men blocked her way, banged on her car windows and forced her to come out of the car.

She wrote that she is luck as she was not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere. Varnika's father is a senior IAS officer and after her post, the matters built immense pressure for the resignation of Vikas Baral's father, Subhash Barla especially from the opposition.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the strict action will be taken against the accused and if they will be found guilty law will take its course.

Subash Barla's deputy, Ramveer Bhatti came up with absurd statements like why she was allowed to roam on roads in the middle of the night following which Kirron Kher, the BJP MP from Chandigarh, condemned her party colleague Mr Bhatti's comments and said that there is no watering down of the case as she have been assured that the CCTV footage will be safe and the police will act accordingly.

Chandigarh police has retrieved footage of five CCTV cameras on the route capturing the chase of the victim's vehicle by the alleged vehicle and SSP Chandigarh said that the analysis is being done.

A senior police officer said, "This is a sensational case of stalking and 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."

The duo was arrested and booked under section 354 D (stalking) of the IPC and 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act (driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs) but were later granted bail due to bailable charges. Today, the accused were told to appear before police and they have refused to give blood and urine samples.

Chandigarh police has further confirmed that this refusal will be held against them besides the department has enough CCTV footage to solve the case.

Stalking is nothing but harassment and intimidation in which the victim goes through terrifying experience which leaves long-lasting horrifying images on her mind. It is a criminal offence to frighten victims and in this particular incident, these young boys tried to harass a girl up to the extent where she could have had a cardiac arrest or severe panic attack.

The accused should be taught a lesson once and for all so that they would never ever in their life indulge in such kind of activity. And girls just like Varnika if stuck in such a situation must seek immediate help from police or the people around them.

 

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POONAM