CHANDIGARH: The 23-year-old son of the Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala, an MLA, has been arrested for allegedly stalking and trying to kidnap the daughter of a senior IAS officer.
Police sources said Vikas Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar (22), both law students, were arrested after the girl filed a complaint that they stalked her at around midnight Friday.
The woman said she was driving home to Panchkula when the two men followed her in their Tata Safari. They blocked her path and tried to pull her out of her car. The woman immediately called the Chandigarh police control room. Seeing her do so, the two men sped away in their SUV but as the police had flashed an alert to PCR vehicles, they were caught at Manimajra.
Police initially registered a case against the two men under Section 354 D of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act in the Sector 26 police station. They were then released on bail. On Saturday, however, the woman got her statement recorded in a local court, upon which police added sections 341, 365 and 511 of the IPC against the stalkers.
After their arrest, Vikas Barala and Ashish Kumar were taken for a medical examination, which confirmed that they were drunk.
Vikas Barala’s father Subhash is the BJP’s lawmaker from the Tohana Assembly constituency. He became the Haryana BJP president for the second time in 2016.
First person: Hair-raising experience
In a post on her Facebook account, the woman narrated the sequence of events
“I was driving home from the Sector 8 market at about 12:15 am. I realized that a car was following me. It was a white SUV, and as I noticed it, it pulled up and started driving alongside my car. There were two 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.
“By now I was mildly panicky, so I decided to turn right from the St Johns' High School traffic lights towards Madhya Marg (a more crowded, seemingly safer road). I tried to turn right at the lights but the SUV blocked my way, forcing me to go straight into Sector 26. At the next turn, I tried to turn again, but this time they went a step further and blocked the road in front of my car. The guy in the passenger seat got out of the car and started walking towards me. I reversed as fast as I could and went straight and took the next right turn before they could catch up again.
“I used the time I gained to also call the cops at 100, and explain to them the situation and my exact location and where I was headed. The cop who answered my call intuitively sensed the urgency in my voice and promised me that help would be along very soon. I hung up and reached the main road. I didn’t see the SUV for about 15 seconds, so I hoped that they'd seen me calling the cops and disappeared. I was wrong. I was now on a straight road for about 5-6 km (Madhya Marg) and that entire time, the SUV stayed alongside my car, trying to bully me into stopping every 10-15 seconds. I was in a full-blown panic by now because they would keep trying to block me, and I somehow manoeuvred my way out and kept moving.
“My hands shaking, my back spasming from fear, half in tears, half bewildered, because I didn't know if I'd make it home tonight. Who knew when, or if, the cops would show up? This time they meant business because they left me absolutely no space to move or escape, and the passenger jumped out of the car and moved towards mine. I don't know how, but I reversed my car and moved to the right where there was space all this while constantly honking so the few vehicles around would know something was wrong. At this point, the guy reached my car, banged loudly on my window and tried to open the door. Just as he did this, I saw a PCR pull up at the lights, quite possibly in response to my call. They heard me honking and saw the SUV swerving left and right in an attempt to block me, and a couple of cops ran out towards the SUV, nabbing it just in time because they were blocked by traffic.’’