Vikas Barala, Son Of Haryana BJP Chief, Arrested; Cops Cite CCTV Footage
After Varnika Kundu’s Facebook post went viral and led to massive public outrage, the spotlight was on the police, which was accused of trying to dilute the case under pressure from the state’s ruling BJP.
Chandigarh: Vikas Barala, the son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, was arrested today after being charged with trying to kidnap a woman he had stalked and followed on the streets of Chandigarh last week. After interrogating him for nearly three hours, the police said it has evidence and witnesses against the 23-year-old law student, who had earlier been let off on bail but now faces up to seven years in jail.
Varnika Kundu, the daughter of a bureaucrat, had posted on Facebook a harrowing account of being chased for several kilometres by Vikas and his friend Ashish on Friday after midnight. The 29-year-old DJ said they blocked her car, banged on her window and even tried to force open her door. The chase was caught on six CCTVs, the footage showing a white SUV racing after Ms Kundu’s black sedan.
A police patrol team finally responded to the frantic SOS calls of Ms Kundu. But Vikas and Ashish were let off within hours of their arrest, because they were only charged with stalking and drink driving, which are bailable. They cannot get bail with the kidnapping charge.
After Ms Kundu’s Facebook post went viral and led to massive public outrage, the spotlight was on the police, which was accused of trying to dilute the case under pressure from the state’s ruling BJP.
“We have new pieces of evidence as regards CCTV evidence… also we have witnesses and a map of the route,” said senior police officer Tejinder Luthra, adding that the force had received “many details” in the past four days.
“We welcome any evidence but we now have sufficient evidence in the case…Everything under the sun will be done to ensure justice,” he said.
The two had refused to give their blood and urine samples the night they were arrested.
Sources in the home ministry say when they refused to go to a hospital for tests, a doctor was called to examine them and he noted that they reeked of alcohol.
Vikas Barala’s father insisted again today that there was no pressure on the police. “On beti Varnika, we respect the law. Vikas will cooperate fully with the police,” Mr Barala told reporters.