Chandigarh stalking case: Vikas Barala, friend sent to 2-day police custody

Chandigarh, August 10

A local court on Thursday sent Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala’s son Vikas and friend Ashish Kumar to a two-day police remand.The police told the court that they needed to recreate the crime scene and find the motive behind the attempt to abduct the woman, among other things.

 

The duo, who left the Sector 26 police station here in the afternoon amid tight police security, reached the district court complex around 2.20 pm.

The two were arrested on Wednesday for an abduction bid, four days after they were accused of stalking 29-year-old Varnika Kundu, daughter of an IAS officer. Vikas Barala, 23, and Ashish Kumar, 27, were arrested after they were interrogated for nearly two hours by Chandigarh Police. While the accused were asked to appear at the Sector 26 police station at 11 am, they kept the cops waiting for nearly three-and-a-half hours. They were taken for interrogation soon after they showed up around 2.30 pm.

The two were arrested on the intervening night of August 4-5 after they allegedly chased and tried to block the victim’s car with their SUV while she was heading home. Despite the victim’s statement to the police that an abduction attempt was made, the two were subsequently released on bail as they were charged under a bailable offence. This led to widespread protests by  various political parties, student outfits and NGOs.DGP TS Luthra said non-bailable charge under Sections 365 (attempt to abduct with intent to wrongful confinement) and 511 (attempt to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) of the IPC had been added to the FIR.The FIR was initially lodged under Section 354-D (stalking) of the IPC. A few hours later, Sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 185 (drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs) of the Motor Vehicles Act were added. The maximum punishment for the offence under the charge applied today is up to seven-year imprisonment.“During interrogation, new things came to light following which these sections have been added and both the accused have been arrested,” the DGP said. “We will take the accused to the scene of crime and reconstruct the route,” he said.The DGP claimed there was no political pressure on the police and that the investigations were being carried out professionally and independently. The accused would be produced in court tomorrow, where the police would seek their custody.DGP Luthra said after their first arrest, both men allegedly refused to give blood and urine samples.  “The accused are law graduates and know the law. They refused to give samples as they know that under law, they can refuse… but, in such circumstances, such refusal shall be held against them in the probe and during the trial.”

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