Haryana BJP chief’s son held for stalking DJ, drink-driving; woman narrates ordeal on Facebook
Police have arrested two persons, including the son of Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief, for allegedly stalking a senior IAS officer’s daughter.
Vikas Barala, the 23-year-old son of BJP’s Subhash Barala, and his friend Ashish Kumar, 27, were arrested from the Housing Board light point late on Friday night. They were later released on bail.
While Barala’s son is a law student at a Kurukshetra college, Ashish is a law graduate. The SUV is registered in the name of Jaideep, a relative of Barala, said the police.
The girl, a disc jockey, who was driving from Sector 9, Chandigarh, towards Panchkula at 12.35am, alleged that two men followed her in their Tata Safari Storm (HR-23G-1008) from the Sector 26 Grain Market area. Both were drunk, she alleged, adding that the SUV pulled up close to her car several times and even tried to block her way to force her to other routes.
She claimed that at one point, the SUV blocked her way and the person in the co-driver’s seat got down and started walking towards her vehicle. She reversed the vehicle to evade them, but they continued to follow her. The girl then called up the 100 helpline and gave the number details of the SUV and her location.
“We have registered a case against Vikas, a resident of Fatehabad, and Bhiwani resident Ashish, under Sections 354-D (stalking a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act (drink driving) at the Sector 26 police station. They both are putting up in Sector 7, Chandigarh,” said deputy superintendent of police (DSP east) Satish Kumar.
After their arrest, they were taken for medical examination, which confirmed that they were drunk, said the DSP, adding that after recording the girl’s statement before a magistrate, Section 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC was added to the first information report (FIR).
Barala is BJP MLA from Tohana in Fatehabad. A Jat leader, he was appointed BJP chief in November 2014, months after the party formed the government in Haryana.
Though Barala could not be contacted, Jawahar Yadav, chairman, Haryana Housing Board, read out his statement to the media stating that he respects law. “Let the police hold a fair investigation so that truth can come out,” Barala’s statement read.
Hours after the incident, the 29-year-old woman took to Facebook and shared her harrowing experience of being “almost kidnapped”.
“If this is what women deal with in one of the safer cities in the country, where are we going?” she questioned.
“I’m lucky, it seems, to not be the daughter of a common man, because what chance would they have against such VIPs? I’m also lucky, because I’m not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere. If this can happen in Chd, it can happen anywhere.”
Her father, an IAS officer posted with the Haryana government, wrote on Facebook: “I will be failing in my duty as a father to my daughter if I did not stand with her completely in this matter.”
“...The goons must be punished, and the law must take its course. As would be expected, the goons are from influential families. We all know most such cases of harassment go unpunished and even unreported. We know it’s not going to be an easy struggle.”
Owing to continuous rain, educational institutions in several parts of Karnataka will remain shut on Thursday. Top officials in the 4 districts of Karnataka - namely Udupi, Kodagu, Hassan and Uttara Kannada -- have declared holiday for Anganwadi schools and colleges amid the 'red alert' issued by the weather department. The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted extremely heavy rain, ranging above 204.5 mm for these 4 cities.
Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu B Chavan appealed to people not to sacrifice cattle for the Bakrid festival while warning of stern action against the offenders. The Minister emphasised the Cow Slaughter Prohibition Act has already been in force in Karnataka. Generally, during the Bakrid festival, there is a tradition of sacrifice, for which livestock such as cow, ox, calf and camels are also used, said Chavan.
Chandigarh Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for a synthetic running track at Sukhna Lake. UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee had earlier given its go-ahead for the proposal. Next, the detailed plan and cost estimates will be prepared; and then, tenders will be floated for the project.” A UT official said the proposed track is part of the administration's efforts to give Sukhna Lake a major facelift.
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