Chandigarh stalking case: They tried to kidnap me, Varnika Kundu tells court
29-year-old Chandigarh DJ records statement in court; sticks to her statement in FIR, says the accused, Vikas Barala and Ashish Kumar, tried kidnapping her on the night of August 5.punjab Updated: Nov 23, 2017 11:29 IST
Varnika Kundu, complainant in the Chandigarh stalking case, struck a confident pose as she distinctly stated that the accused, Vikas Barala and Ashish Kumar, tried kidnapping her on the night of August 5.
Varnika, a 29-year-old DJ, recorded her statement before a local court on Wednesday and specifically repeated her allegations in the FIR. She, however, cleared all uproar over how she failed to mention the kidnapping bid when her statement was recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC soon after the incident. A statement made under this section is admissible as evidence and “maybe used to corroborate or contradict a statement made in the court”.
Even as Vikas and Ashish stood whispering to each other during Varnika’s statement, she identified them by pointing at the duo and stated that Vikas was driving while Ashish tried blocking her and even knocked on her car’s window.
On August 5, Vikas, son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, and his friend, Ashish Kumar, allegedly stalked Varnika and tried blocking her car. She called Chandigarh Police and got the duo apprehended. They were reportedly under the influence of alcohol during the time of the incident.
Both were booked under Section 354D (stalking) of the IPC and under provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act. Later, police added sections of attempt to kidnap too.
In October, police framed charges against Vikas and Ashish under the same sections. Their defence counsel has filed a review petition on the charges, calling it a “media trial”. Vikas was denied bail four times by a trial court.
‘NEW FACT’ TO LIGHT
On Wednesday, however, a new fact came to light during Varnika’s cross-examination by defence counsel Rabindra Pandit. Varnika stated she was on a phone call with a friend and business acquaintance, Anubhav Gaurang, for 40 to 50 minutes before the stalking incident.
After being cross-examined further, she stated that the incident occurred five to ten minutes before she disconnected the call as she wanted to dial ‘100’. She added that she called Gaurang again as “she wanted someone to know what was going on as she was alone in the car and was afraid that police might not show up on time”.
She was also cross-examined to know if the person on the other end of the phone was a family member. She clarified he was not and went on to say she did not narrate every single detail to him as her focus was to keep driving and escape the situation she was in.
The cross-examination will be completed on December 6, the next date of hearing, once the court has heard arguments on the application of the defence seeking call details between the victim and her father.
Varnika was accompanied by her father, Haryana IAS officer VS Kundu, mother Sucheta Kundu, a school friend and another family friend. However, her father was asked to step out of court during her statement as he was a witness in the case.
The stalking survivor gave a detailed description of that night’s incident, right from the point when Vikas and Ashish began chasing her to how she took various turns towards KBDAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 7. She described how the duo’s vehicle blocked hers and how Ashish got out of the car and knocked on her window.
She stated she dialled 100 and informed her father; she was trembling after the incident, so her father offered to write the complaint on her behalf.
Varnika added that she waited for two hours while the accused were sent for a medical examination; two female constables visited her the next afternoon to tell her that her statement needed to be recorded in court. Later, the DSP of the women’s cell also recorded her statement on August 21 and she was shown CCTV footage of two locations where she was allegedly stalked.