Victim Shaming, Dubious Police Work and Feudal Mindset; Mount Pressure on Haryana BJP
As Haryana BJP State President Subhash Barala’s son Vikas Barala and his friend landed into a controversy of allegedly stalking and attempting to kidnap Dj Varnika Kundu, daughter of a senior IAS officer, chasing her by his SUV, he must not be feared that the girl who he is behind of is trained in Choi Kwang- Do, which motivated her to teach a lesson to the stalker. She didn’t resort to hide her identity. She called SOS and tried to file a complaint of kidnapping and stalking. Initially, Chandigarh UT police booked the men under charges of Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 345 D (Stalking) and Section 185 (Motor Vehicle Act Drunken Driving) as well as serious non-bailable offences under Sections 365 (Kidnapping, 511 (attempt to commit offences punishable with imprisonment) and 341 (Wrongful Restraint). Later as the reports suggest, the two charges were reduced and the accused got bail.
Varnika Kundu wrote on Facebook that the men blocked her way, banged on her windows and even tried to forceful door open. A police patrol team came, responding to her SOS. The daughter of senior IAS officer said that she feels lucky to not lying raped or murdered in ditch somewhere. Speaking to a private news channel she said, “After being caught the two said that it was a mistake but I ask that a mistake cannot be stretched for kilometers. The cops should not have to come to stop you.”
Subhash Barala’s Deputy Ramveer Bhatti targeted the girl for roaming at night. The BJP leader aide also said that her parents must not allow them to roam at night and keep a watch on them so that they could return home on time. Well, it also applies with boys. Varnika resorted back, “It is none of his business, it is my business and my family’s what I do and where…..If it was not for men like these, I would not be unsafe going out..whether it is 12 am or 2 am.”
Every time after such harassment takes place, the powerful goons are set free because of their approach in the political sphere and power to manipulate the FIR report. When nothing is left to defend the accused, the relatives jump into character assassination of the victim. They take big shameless advantage of feudal mindset and the patriarchal division. And the same is being reflected in Varnika’s case. Defenders are digging out her old facebook posts where she is allegedly enjoying a party time with her friends.
The Chandigarh UT police are in major controversy to drop two serious charges against the two accused who got bail after that. Initially, Chandigarh police had said there was no CCTV footage of the incident. Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr. Satish Kumar had said that they tried to get footage along the route, from Sector 7 to Housing Board traffic light point, but all CCTVs were found out of order.
Amid the allegations upon the police to shield and cover up the Haryana BJP Chief son and for the weaker action of the UT police, the opposition is targeting the Manohar Lal Khattar led BJP state government and mounting pressure on the Subhash Barala to resign in the wake of the incident. CM Khattar said, “I came to know about this incident. Chandigarh Police has filed the complaint and I believe they will take appropriate action. This matter is not related with Subhash Barala but with an individual. So action would be taken against his son.”
“On one hand, the BJP boasts about its various schemes for women and giving them honour, and on the other hand we have a BJP leader whose son is stalking a woman. It is very embarrassing,” Shiv Sena leader Manish Kayande told ANI. Congress leader M. Afzal also demanded Barala’s resignation on moral grounds. (Courtesy, NDTV)
Senior Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka said, “The girl has handled a nightmarish situation very bravely. To deter such occurrences in the future, the criminal justice process must be fast-tracked. The brave father should not be victimized for the support to his brave daughter. The political party must demonstrate determination in Beti Bachao through real action.”
“The Union home ministry, which directly controls UT Administration and UT Police of Chandigarh, is conspiring to hush up the entire matter so as to protect the Haryana State BJP president and his son,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. BJP refuted the allegations made by the Congress party.
Senior BJP MP Subramanian Swamy alleged the UT police of doing a “somersault” on the case Chandigarh Stalking case. He tweeted, “With my associate lawyer AP Jagga on attempted abduction of an IAS officer’s daughter by two drunken goons, I will file a PIL in Chandigarh.”
(Views are personal.)