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Chandigarh stalking: Vikas Barala arrested, to be produced before court tomorrow

Accused Vikas Barala and Ashish were taken for a medical check-up on Wednesday (August 9). Photograph: (ANI)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 09, 2017, 04.29 AM (IST)

Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala's son, Vikas Barala, accused of stalking a woman in Chandigarh on Friday night, has been arrested by the Chandigarh Police after he appeared before them for questioning today (August 9) afternoon.

The other accused in the case, Ashish Kumar, has also been arrested, police said.

The accused will be produced before the court tomorrow and the police will seek their custody, a top police official told PTI.

A top police official confirmed that the accused had been arrested after a detailed interrogation and after the charge of attempt to abduct was added to the other charges against them.

Sections 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) and 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offenses punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) have now been added to the FIR. 

The Chandigarh Police was earlier accused of dropping these two serious charges after which Vikas Barala and his friend were let out on bail without being produced in the court.

The official, Chandigarh Director General of Police Vikas Barala, said that there was no political pressure on the police.

Asked about the reason behind adding the fresh charge, the DGP explained that in the last four days, the police had recorded the statements of witnesses and also examined CCTV footage.

"We reconstructed the scene of crime. We have also reconstructed the route of the chase and from there, many new facts, new evidences have emerged," he said.

"Because in this investigation, there are many things for which we require their custody...We will confront them with facts and the scene of crime, which was the route of the chase. It will be reconstructed along with the accused. Many facts will be confirmed in that process," he said.

Vikas Barala was asked to appear before the Station House Officer (SHO) of Sector-26 Police Station at 11 am but appeared at 2:30 pm instead.

He did not accept the notice.

The police then resorted to pasting the summon notice outside the residence of Barala on Wednesday morning.

The Chandigarh DGP earlier said that both the accused had refused to give their blood and urine sample at the time of questioning.

"The duty doctor did want to take the blood and urine sample, but the accused are law graduates, they knew the law very well. Therefore, they refused to give the blood and urine sample," the DGP said.

Varnika Kundu, daughter of an IAS officer, was allegedly stalked through the streets of Chandigarh on Friday night by Vikas Barnala and his friend in an SUV. In a Facebook post, Varnika alleged that the men blocked her way, banged on her windows and even tried to force the door open. 

She said today's arrests were a "great development".

Thanking everyone for their overwhelming support, she said "if we continue this movement, cases like these will get a lot rarer".

Varnika's father said after the arrest that he was happy that a proper investigation would begin.

"We are happy, now proper investigation will begin," VS Kundu said.

"Our faith was never really shaken. Justice is what will be actually done in court when final sentence is awarded to these boys," he added. "I hope the authorities will now make sure to work in a way that no question can be raised."

Subhash Barala, meanwhile, said at a press conference today that no attempt was being made to influence the investigation.

The Haryana BJP chief said yesterday that Varnika Kundu was like his daughter and claimed there was no pressure on the police from him or his party.

Yesterday, police retrieved footage of five CCTV cameras in connection with the stalking.


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