Vikas Barala, friend arrested; booked for abduction
Haryana BJP President Subhash Barala's son Vikas Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar were on Wednesday arrested again by the Chandigarh Police after they were booked under non-bailable sections of attempt to abduct and attempt to commit offence for stalking an IAS officer's daughter.
Both accused, who appeared before police on Wednesday afternoon, were interrogated by police officials for over two hours before being booked under Section 365 (kidnapping or abduction with intent to confine person) and Section 511 (attempt to commit offence punishable with life imprisonment).
The incident of stalking happened on the intervening night of August 4-5 (early Saturday).
The conduct of the Chandigarh Police in this high-profile case came under criticism as they allegedly favoured the accused, who stalked and intimidated Varnika Kundu, daughter of Haryana Additional Chief Secretary V.S. Kundu.
Both the accused arrived amid high drama at the police station in Sector 26.
Vikas and his friend arrived in a Ford Endeavour SUV amid pouring rain, with the Chandigarh Police throwing an elaborate security ring inside the police station complex to keep away Congress and Aam Aadmi Party protesters and the media.
At his official residence, Subhash Barala left his press conference in a huff, purportedly fielding a phone call from his son, after tough media queries.
Vikas and Ashish had earlier in the day skipped police summons to join probe into the stalking incident. They were asked to appear before the police at 11 a.m. and only arrived around 2.30 p.m.
Chandigarh's Director General of Police Tejinder S. Luthra told the media on Wednesday morning that the accused had refused to give their blood and urine samples to the doctor conducting their medical examination on Saturday.
"The doctor on duty wanted to take the blood and urine samples, but the accused being law graduates knew the law too well. Therefore, they refused to give their samples. However, such refusal can be held against them in the investigation and during the trial," he said.
"I must assure you that everything under the sun will be done to ensure justice," said Luthra, who came before the media for the first time in five days after the incident.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Haryana also washed its hands off the high-profile accused.
"Vikas (Barala) and BJP are both separate. The opposition parties are trying to mislead people by saying that the BJP is influencing probe in this matter. We deny this. The BJP does not have anything to do with it," said Haryana BJP spokesman Jawahar Yadav.
Police had booked and arrested Vikas Barala and his friend, both of whom were drunk, on the milder charge of stalking the woman after they chased her car in their SUV, despite she alleging that the youths tried to intimidate her and abduct her.
Both were bailed out within hours of the complaint.