The stalking of a senior Haryana official’s daughter in Chandigarh two days ago, turned into a political battle with the state Chief Minister refusing to ask his BJP party chief to resign over his son, Vikas’ offence. The Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, said that father should not be punished for the sins of the son.
The Congress opposition has turned this incident into an inter-party war with their demand for the arrest of Vikas and his friend, Ashish, and the resignation of the Chief Minister as well. The two had allegedly chased an IAS official’s daughter, a disk jockey who was driving home late in the night after work. Khattar said that the accused would be punished if found guilty and that was his official stand. This case has nothing to do with the state BJP president, Subhas Barala, the father of Vikas. The incident is highly condemnable, he added. The incident has been a huge embarrassment for the BJP which has been spearheading a campaign to ‘save the girl child, educate the girl child’ and against female infanticide in the state which has not been noted for its benign treatment of women.
The victim, daughter of a senior IAS official, said that she was returning from her workplace when the two started stalking her. ‘They tried to threaten me by trying to stop my car. Suddenly they came in front of my car and blocked its way. I reversed the car immediately and alerted the police who heard the whole matter and assured me of all help. Soon the police came and arrested the two. I am thankful to the police for their timely help.’ She said she was driving alone from Sector 8 in Chandigarh towards Panchkula around 12.15 a.m. (on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday) when the two youths started following her. She said that their 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 one youth jumped out of it and started walking towards her vehicle. While she reversed at full speed and tried to evade them, they continued to follow her.She said she was lucky because she is the daughter of an official, but if it were a common man’s daughter imagine her plight. She also noted that two who harassed her were from influential families.
The Chief Minister said he came to know of the incident and the Chandigarh police had filed a complaint and ‘I believe they would take appropriate action.’ Khattar said that the matter is not related to Barala and he should not be punished for the crime of his son. So action should be taken only against the son. Vikas Barala was arrested by the police along with Ashish from the Housing Board early on Saturday morning. Police say both were drunk at the time of their arrest. Both were granted bail as the section imposed against them was bailable.
The Deputy Superintendent of Police (East), Satish Kumar, said both were booked under Section 354 D(for stalking a woman) and of Indian Penal Code Section 341(wrongful restraint) which was later added. ’We have arrested both and we got their medical examination done and it was confirmed that they were under the influence of alcohol,’ Kumar said. Both are law students.