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6 Aug 2017

Law student arrested for stalking girl at midnight......We will stand, so long as we can- father of the victim

seized vehicle
TT, Chandigarh, 5 August 2017: The son of the Haryana BJP president has been arrested for allegedly chasing a young woman in an SUV across 6km in Chandigarh on Friday night. He was caught after the woman called police from her car. (KalimNews:Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala's son and his friend have been arrested with the vehicle for allegedly harassing and molesting a girl in Chandigarh. Barala's son Vikas and his friend Ashish were booked in a FIR filed in Sector-26 of Chandigarh and arrested under section 354D.
The case was lodged against the duo after the victim, who is the daughter of a bureaucrat, filed a complaint. In her complaint, the girl alleged that the duo first tried to block her car, stalked, and harassed her, the police said.Vikas is a law student).

The following are accounts the woman and her father, an IAS officer, posted on Facebook:

I would like to share with you all a horrendous experience we went through last night. My daughter... was returning home around midnight yesterday in her car when a couple of goons started following her in a Tata Safari. This started at 12:15am in Sector 7 market.
They tried to block her car at the traffic signal, but she showed presence of mind and sped away. They chased her and blocked her way time and again. She again manoeuvred away. She called the police while driving and informed them.
Bikas Barala
The goons continued to chase her and attempting to block her for a few kilometres. She sped thru all red lights, but had to stop at a signal as there were cars stopped there. She swerved thru the traffic and the stalkers followed her brazenly.
One of the goons jumped out and tried to enter her car. She somehow manoeuvred an escape while honking continuously. Police guys from a PCR ran to apprehend the goons. They called us, and we went to the police station in Sector 26. The filing of the complaint and their medical examination etc took four hours. But the FIR was finally lodged and the goons arrested.
Chandigarh police was pretty efficient and helpful. They intercepted the goons, were responsive to... distress calls, and were neutral in filing the complaint.
We are thankful that she survived this ordeal. The goons had a very clear intention of abducting her, and she escaped due to her courage and presence of mind, but it was a very close call, and her trauma is unimaginable.
I suppose it will take her a long time to go back to a normal life.
As a father of two daughters, I feel compelled to take this matter to its logical conclusion. 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. Most people would not want or dare to take on goons from influential families. I feel if people with some privileges like us cannot stand up to such criminals, nobody in India can. More importantly, I will be failing in my duty as a father to my daughter if I did not stand with her completely in this matter.
I am sharing this with you all for two reasons. One, to give a true and clear picture of what happened. Two, to get some assurance of support in case it's needed.
Our clear intention is to bring the culprits to book. We do not intend to harm the families or relatives. However, we know it's not going to be an easy struggle. The possibility of harassment and witch-hunting, threats and even physical harm is undeniable, even though unlikely. Influential families can sometimes take desperate measures to discredit or disable the complainants.
Sane friends may advise us against our course of action. We may be foolhardy. However, I know that the trauma and hurt my daughter has undergone cannot be undone. If we do not persist in trying to bring the guilty to justice, more and more daughters will suffer this hurt. Maybe some may not be as lucky as Varnika. Someone has to stand up. We are standing. So long as we can.

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