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Chandigarh stalking: BJP adopting double standards in investigations to shield Haryana chief

Subhash Barala

In a high profile case of stalking, where Haryana cadre IAS officer’s daughter has complained in writing regarding an attempt to kidnap her by the son (Vikas Barala) of a powerful Haryana politician BJP chief Subhash Barala but the police SHO incorporated routine charges of stalking and the persons were released on bail is a serious case of police authorities of tempering with evidence and justice.

Within hours Vikas Barala was released after arrest on the charges of stalking and harassing the IAS officer’s daughter in Chandigarh.

She even narrated her agony saying that she was chased for seven kilometres and the persons blocked her way repeatedly  and even tried to forcibly open the doors of her car in the middle of the night apparently to  kidnap, molest and even rape her is enough evidence to build a strong non-bailable case.

Police appears to be under immense political pressure that police authorities lodged an FIR against the accused charging them under sections 354D(stalking) and 341IPC (wrongful restraint) and section 185 of the Motor vehicle act diluting the charges against the son of a BJP politician so that the accused could walk out on bail, instead they should have booked the accused under the attempt to Kidnap (365 and 511) of the IPC.

But the debate now shifts to the argument that BJP chief who is the father of the accused Vikas Barala, who has been named in the FIR should be removed from the post of Haryana BJP chief as he can influence the case.

The Congress accused the Union Home Ministry and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of covering up the stalking incident by controlling the Chandigarh administration and the police.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said “Initially Investigative officer Satish Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) East Chandigarh, himself has said in a press conference that this is a case of kidnapping and outraging the modesty of a woman. He also said that these offences are non-bailable. This meeting took place at 2:30 pm. But at 5 pm there was another press conference meet by Kumar, and there he termed the matter as stalking and wrongful restrain.”

Moreover, all the CCTV cameras footage of the surveillance cameras installed along the roads on which a woman was allegedly stalked by Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala’s son Vikas and his friend has been found to be missing which puts a  question mark on the police working and giving rise to speculations that the police was diluting the case apparently to save the guilty.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar assured Vikas will be punished once found guilty.

“I have complete faith on the Chandigarh Police. Justice will prevail. The accused will be punished once found guilty. This is my official stand on this matter. This case has nothing to do with Subhash Barala. Such act is highly condemnable if proved correct,” the Chief Minister told the media.

It is pertinent to mention that in the Jesicca Lal murder case, Sushma Swaraj and other BJP leaders demanded the removal of Venod Sharma (having a 40 year long political career in Congress), who resigned as state power minister after his son  was accused in the murder case.

The BJP is adopting double standards when they got Manu’s father resigned on the accusations of murder by his son but is not prepared to adopt that approach when their own leaders are involved in similar case.

It is significant to note that Narendra Modi then chief minister of Gujarat and his close confidant Amit Shah had been accused of misusing their powers and police machinery for illegal surveillance of a woman in 2009.

The tapped conversations that purportedly took place  between August and September  2009  do not mention Modi (then Gujarat Chief Minister), the websites  said that “listening to the conversations leaves no doubt that the people involved in the operation knew the ‘saheb’, at whose behest the alleged snooping was being carried out.

arti bali

By : Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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