How an aspiring lawyer ended up behind bars in the Chandigarh stalking case
After passing out his Class-12 from Tohana-based Colonel High School, with a good record in studies, Barala took admission in a five-year law at Chhaju Ram Law College, Hisar, in 2011.punjab Updated: Aug 15, 2017 13:11 IST
Shock and disbelief, this is the first reaction of college friends of Vikas Barala, 23, son of Haryana BJP Chief Subhash Barala, who has been remanded in two-day police custody for stalking and harassing daughter of bureaucrat on August 5.
“We never expected this from Barala as during his stay in Hisar as a law student, he came across as a sober individual,” goes the common refrain.
After passing out his Class-12 from Tohana-based Colonel High School, with a good record in studies, Barala took admission in a five-year law at Chhaju Ram Law College, Hisar, in 2011. He passed out in 2016, but has reappears in five subjects. He stayed as a paying guest in Hisar and maintained a low-profile, with some of his friends caught unawares when they first got to know his family background.
Never touched liquor, claim friends
Sandeep Zazaria, who was a year senior to him at the Hisar law college, said, “We were good friends, even though I was a year senior to him. During his stay in college, he never touched liquor. He never even allowed his friends to drink at his PG accommodation, as they all used to drink a lot. News of his stalking a girl was a shocker to us. He was very simple and shy student.”
His law college teacher, on the condition of anonymity, said, “He was not a particularly bright student, but we never received any complaint against him. He was of shy and was asked to reappear in five subjects and as far I know was busy preparing for these.”
Tohana farmhouse wears a desolate look
Native of Tohana, a town in Fatehabad, that lies around 170km from Chandigarh, the place that now has him in the grips of the law, the Baralas’ palatial farmhouse, 10km from Tohana city in Bidhaikhera village in the district, wears a deserted look.
The guard at the main gate has just one stock answer to all your queries. ‘Abhi ghar par koi nahi hai, aap apna naam pata likhwa jao, jaise hi koi aata hai baat kar lenge’ (no one is at house, please write your name and address as someone will come will contact you). “After Vikas Barala was booked for stalking a girl in Chandigarh, only media persons are visiting Barala’s house at his farmhouse,” a middle-aged resident of the village said, requesting anonymity.
“We have never seen the house so desolate. The place used to teem with more than 200 party leaders and workers every day. Vikas has grown up before our eyes. He was not like this,” the man added.
The Chandigarh connection
Sources add that Barala had always been a frequent visitor to Chandigarh just to get fresh and enjoy himself in the city even when he was studying law and used to stay at House number 74 in Sector 7, a house that was allotted to his father Subhash Barala. After his graduation, the frequency of his visits increased, they claim.
Room mate says he kept low-profile
His roommate at the PG in Hisar, Dharamvir said, “Even in college, students were not aware that he is the son of BJP president. Only, we got to know, after his father was elected as MLA for the first time.”
His friend from Tohana, Lucky Handa said, “He had very little interaction with people. He campaigned for his father in the state assembly polls, but maintained a low profile. It is shocking that stalked a woman in a drunken state. He hated liquor, as far I know.”
Nephew also faces kidnapping charge
Residents of Tohana claim that Jaideep Barala, a cousin of Vikas, looks after the constituency when Vikas’s father Subhash Barala, the MLA, is not around. On May 8 this year, the Tohana police booked Jaideep for kidnapping a minor girl of Bidhaikhera village.
A journalist of Tohana said, “We never heard anything about Vikas Barala, but Jaideep is known to be short-tempered. We have heard of allegations that he thrashed a local journalist, but there is no complaint against him.” Subhash Barala’s agriculture field is located at Dangra village, about 3km from the Bidhaikhera village. Barala’s farmhouse is located at the outskirts of the Bidhaikhera village.
(With inputs from Bhaskar Mukherjee)