For over a week now, the country has been fuming over the harrowing Chandigarh stalking case that has again brought the discourse of women’s safety into limelight.

With every passing day and with every single development, the nation together watched and read the events that eventually led to the arrest of the two accused, one of whom was also the son Haryana State BJP leader Subhash Barala.

All this while, the victim stood strong and undeterred while she was shamed publicly.  

As both the accused, Vikas Barala and Ashish Kumar head to a two-day custody, here is a quick timeline of the events.

The intervening night of August 4 and 5 

The car of 29-year-old Varnika Kundu, a DJ by profession, was allegedly chased by accused, Vikas Barala, 23, and his friend Ashish Kumar, 27, in a white SUV around midnight from Sector-8 in Chandigarh.

They even tried to block her way and open her car door multiple times in an alleged attempt of kidnapping, as per Kundu. 

Aug 5: Kundu describes the ordeal in an FB post

Outraged, Varnika Kundu took to social media platform Facebook to share her experience

“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, just enough to scare me that it might hit me”, she wrote. 

Aug 6: Vikas Barala, son of Haryana BJP chief, and his friend arrested, promptly released on bail

Post the victim’s complaint to Chandigarh police, both the accused were arrested on charges of stalking (Section 354D of IPC) and for drunk driving (Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act) but were soon granted bail on the same day as the offenses were bailable in nature.

Aug 7: Outrage after some BJP leaders shamed victim for roaming around at night

As soon as the incident hit the headlines, several BJP leaders took to twitter and Facebook to shame the victim. 

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.

Another BJP leader Babul Supriyo sparked a controversy after he tweeted in support of the accused and normalised the crime by terming it as a ‘mischief’.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Shaina NC also shared a photograph on her Twitter handle and called Kundu a “so called victim beti”. 

Aug 8: Police says no CCTV footage available, eventually retrieve 5 cameras

After initially stating that CCTV cameras along the route, from Sector 7 to the Housing Board traffic light point were non-functional, the Chandigarh police recovered footage from five cameras.   

“Chandigarh police has retrieved footage of five CCTV cameras on the route capturing the chase of the victim’s vehicle by the alleged vehicle,” a senior police official told NDTV.

The Chandigarh police also contested charges that it was being partial and said it was conducting a “fair investigation” into the case against the accused. 

Aug 9: Accused summoned for probe and arrested

After retrieving the CCTV footage, Chandigarh police on Tuesday pasted summons notice outside Vikas Barala’s house asking both the accused to appear at the Sector-26 police station.

After questioning, Vikas Barala and his friend confessed to stalking and were subsequently arrested. 

August 10: Vikas Barala & Ashish sent to 2-day police custody

Both the accused were finally sent to a two-day police custody for stalking and attempting to kidnap Varnika Kundu on the night of August 4.   

(Feature image design: Chabbi Parmar/ScoopWhoop)