On Friday night, 2 youths were arrested at Madhya Marg in Chandigarh. The accused were later identified as Vikas Barala (23), son of Subhash Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar (22). They were arrested on charges of stalking a girl.
As reported, Police said that both of them were drunk and followed the girl while she was driving her car late at night. “Vikas is a law graduate and residing at Sector 7 here (Chandigarh) and Ashish is a law student and friend of Vikas. Vikas’s father is a senior politician in Haryana. We arrested both of them under Section 354D of IPC. The victim’s statement is being recorded under section 164 of CrPC before a local magistrate,” Satish Kumar, DSP (East) said.
Both were booked under section 354AD (stalking) of IPC and 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act (driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs).
Accused had consumed beer at Sector 9 and started chasing the woman from Sector 7, police said. A case was registered at Sector 26 police station.
According to the Police, they got a call in the Police control room at 12.35 am on Friday when the girl informed them that two youths in a white colored Safari were chasing her. The Safari was intercepted at the Housing Board Light point by a PCR van and a police vehicle.
As per the Motor Vehicle Act, driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs is punishable for the first offense with imprisonment for a term of up to six months and/or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees. Second or subsequent offense, if committed within three years of a similar offense is punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to two years and/or with fine of three thousand rupees.
The Opposition wants Barala to resign due to the same. Even though Vikas Barala was released on Saturday. Retired IAS officer and general secretary of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), RS Chaudhary, said, “The BJP had launched the campaign of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, but this case has exposed the real face of its leaders.”
Chaudhary also said that Barala should resign on moral grounds otherwise “the INLD would not only raise the issue in the state Assembly but would also run a campaign against the incident in the entire state”.
the 29-year-old victim took to Facebook and shared her harrowing experience of being “almost kidnapped” in Chandigarh.
In her post, the woman — whose identity is being withheld as per law — recounts that she was driving home from the Sector-8 market around 12.15am on Friday night, and crossed the road into Sector 7 near the petrol pump when she noticed an SUV chasing her.
In the FB post, she details how the SUV was driving alongside her car and cutting corners in Sector 7, as she headed towards the traffic lights in the adjoining Sector 26. “By now I was totally alert and mildly panicky, so I decided to turn right from the St John’s traffic lights towards Madhya Marg (a more crowded, seemingly safer road),” she wrote. But the SUV blocked her way, forcing her to drive straight into Sector 26.
“At the next turn, I tried to turn again, but this time they went a step further… they blocked the road in front of my car, and the guy in the passenger seat got out of the car and started walking towards me. I reversed as fast as I could and went straight and took the next right turn before they could catch up again,” says her post on social media.
On Madhya Marg now, headed to Panchkula, she dialed police helpline 100, explained the situation, gave her exact location and where she was headed. In the FB post later, she went on to thank the police for their prompt response.
Now she was driving on a straight road for 5-6 km, “and that entire time, the SUV stayed alongside my car, trying to bully me into stopping every 10-15 seconds. She recalled, “I was in a full-blown panic attack by now because they would keep trying to corner me, and I’d somehow maneuver my way out and keep moving. My hands shaking, my back spasming from fear, half in tears, half bewildered, because I didn’t know if I’d make it home tonight.”
They kept chasing her all the way close to Hotel Solitaire; “at the traffic lights, blocked my car for the final time”.
Ashish came out and banged on her car window and tried to open the door. “Just as he did this, I saw a PCR [vehicle] pull up… and a couple of cops ran out towards the SUV, nabbing it just in time because they were blocked in by traffic.”
“I, still shaking from fear, drove straight home, and then came to the police station to file the complaint.” Her father, a senior IAS officer, went with her from their Panchkula home to the Sector-26 police station and the FIR was finally lodged.