Three days after the shocking incident of alleged stalking and harassment of a woman in Chandigarh by two men (including a BJP leader's son), attempts are now being made to shame the victim.
The woman who is a daughter of an IAS officer in Chandigarh was chased and harassed by Vikas Barala (son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala) and his friend Ashish Kumar in an attempt of kidnapping on Friday night.
'Why stay out at night?'
On Monday, Haryana BJP Deputy President Ramveer Bhatti questioned why the woman was roaming 'late at night'. "Parents must take care of their children... they shouldn't allow them to roam at night. Children should come home on time, why stay out at night?" he told CNN News 18.
An advocate named Prashant P Umrao, shared a photo of the woman standing with two men on his Twitter profile. He said that the 'so-called victim' was getting herself clicked with the two accused implying that the allegations are fake.
'So called victim daughter of IAS from Chandigarh with Vikas Barala. This story is as true as like Jasleen Kaur of Delhi & of Rohtak Sisters," he tweeted.
He also added:
The victim, however, rubbished the allegations and said that the men in the photograph are her friends and not the accused.
A Facebook user named Kuldeep Barala, supposedly a relative of the BJP leader also blamed the victim for leveling allegations against the accused.
He shared her picture on his Facebook timeline and wrote, 'The one in the middle is the 'innocent' woman who was heavily drunk and she accuses others'.
Another post mentioned that all this is a ploy by the Opposition to attack Subhash Barala.
The posts have now been removed.
The incident sparked outrage after the victim on Facebook wrote how the two men tried to block her way and open her car door multiple times in an alleged attempt of kidnapping.
"There were 2 guys inside the SUV, and they seemed to really be enjoying harassing a lone girl in the middle of the night, judging by how often their car swerved,v just enough to scare me that it might hit me", she wrote.
But when she complained to the Chandigarh police, both the accused were arrested on charges of stalking (read Section 354D of IPC) and for drunk driving under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act but were soon granted bail on Saturday as the offenses were bailable in nature.
Did police ignore attempt to kidnap charges?
Chandigarh Police on Saturday said that the statement by a Haryana cadre IAS officer’s daughter 'did not attract charge of kidnapping bid to be included in the FIR'. However, the FIR registered at the Sector 26 police station says the opposite.
“To me, it was very clear that these boys intended to abduct me, even tried to open the door. Kindly file a FIR under the appropriate sections of law,” the girl was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. But the police only put bailable charges — stalking and wrongful restraint due to which the two accused were released on bail. Police say they are considering to take a legal opinion on the matter.
CCTV footage non-functional?
The authenticity of the incident couldn't be verified through CCTV footage as none of the CCTV cameras along the route, from Sector 7 to the Housing Board traffic light point were found to be non-functional, reports IANS.
But Bollywood actor and BJP MP Kirron Kher from Chandigarh said that the police was not facing any political pressure and said that the missing CCTV footage is just 'wild allegations'.
After the incident hogged headlines across the media, opposition parties have been demanding Subhash Barala's resignation
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, while addressing the media, said the matter is not related with Subhash Barala but with an individual and action will be taken against his son.
The National Commission for Women on Monday sought a free and fair probe. Meanwhile, allegations made by Congress suggested that the central government and the state BJP were conspiring to hush up the case.
Senior BJP leader, Subramanian Swamy, has said that he will file a PIL in the case against the two accused.
With my associate lawyer A.P. Jagga on attempted abduction of a IAS officer's daughter by two drunk goons I will file a PIL in Chandigarh— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) August 7, 2017
(With inputs from PTI)