The Chandigarh Police on Wednesday issued summons to Vikas Barala, the prime accused in the Chandigarh stalking case, asking him to appear before them for further investigation. Vikas, the son of BJP Haryana chief Subhash Barala, and his friend, Ashish Kumar, have been accused of stalking and chasing 29-year-old Varnika Kundu in an attempt to kidnap her. Varnika, who is the daughter of senior Haryana-cadre IAS officer V S Kundu, alleged she was chased for approximately 30 minutes by the accused on Friday night. 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.
The state police has been facing criticism for their investigation. The CCTV footage purportedly showing Vikas and Ashish chasing Kundu was procured by Chandigarh Police on Tuesday, a day after it was said to be missing. “We have procured footage establishing that the victim was being chased by accused in a Tata Safari. I cannot divulge the source of footage… these are either the police’s CCTV cameras or those privately installed,” DGP Tejinder Singh Luthra told The Indian Express.
The Opposition is also cornering the state and central government for allegedly trying to influence the investigation. They have also raised demands for the resignation of Subhash Barala. While BJP has rejected the demand, the Haryana bjp unit chief broke his silence on Tuesday and said Varnika was like his daughter. “Action is being taken in the case as per law and action should be taken against Vikas and Ashish as per rules to ensure justice for Varnika. BJP supports women’s freedom and Varnika Kundu is like my daughter,” Subhash Barala said.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has said the guilty would be punished.