Chandigarh Stalking Case : Media Hype or Reality of Chandigarh

Turn on any news channel today and all of them will be showing the same thing. Whether it is Aaj Tak, ABP News, Zee News or Republic TV, each news channel is earning TRPs with the Chandigarh Stalking Case in which 23-year-old Vikas Barala, who is the son of Haryana BJP Chief, has been accused of stalking, harassing, misbehaving and attempting to abduct a 29-year-old girl Varnika Kundu in the middle of the night in what is said to be one of India’s safest cities, Chandigarh.

This is a VVIP case because the accused Vikas Barala is the son of Haryana BJP Chief Subhash Barala and the victim who is a DJ by profession is the daughter of a senior IAS officer Virender Kundu. As per the news reports, Vikas Barala is a typical snobby kid of a rich politician whereas Varnika has proven herself to be a smart, intelligent and bold daughter of India who saved herself from these drunk goons and got them arrested by the Chandigarh Police.

The Entire Chandigarh Stalking Case:

It was 12:15 AM when the victim Vernika Kundu, a DJ by profession was going home from Chandigarh’s Sector 8 Market. On crossing the Sector 7 Petrol Pump, she realized that a Tata Safari bearing registration number HR-23 G 1008 was following her. This is a road parallel to the main Madhya Marg road which we all take to avoid traffic and lights. In the day, it is a very safe road, but at midnight it might not be the safest one. The victim reached St. John’s school and tried taking a right towards a more busy road but the Safari blocked her way forcing her to move towards Sector 26. On the next turn, the guys blocked her way again with their SUV and one of them came out of the car and started walking towards the victim. One can imagine how scary it would be for a lone girl driving her car in the middle of the night to find a stranger chasing her and trying to get close to her.

With her presence of mind, Vernika called the cops at 100 and tried to move as fast as she could. On hearing her shivering voice, the cops sensed the urgency of providing immediate help to the women. The victim kept on driving for 5 – 6 KM on the straight road to Housing Board but the accused Vikas Barala with his friend, who were drunk, kept on following her car, bullying and harassing her throughout. On reaching the Housing Board Lights in Panchkula,  these guys again blocked her way but the girl, with her smartness, kept blowing the car’s horn so that the cops could notice the situation. In the meantime, the guy from the passenger seat again jumped out of his SUV, reached the girl and banged loudly on the car’s window.
By this time, the Chandigarh Police PCR thankfully reached the spot to help the girl, arresting Vikas Barala (23) and his friend Ashish Kumar (22).

Vikas Barala Arrested & Granted Bail:

Now, as per the news channels, the accused Vikas Barala and his friend Ashish were arrested and released on bail in the same night due to political pressure. Here, we need to understand that even though stalking is a criminal offence, it is still a bailable offense and the cops have to follow the laws. They can not put the guys under a non-bailable offense if the law doesn’t allow that.
I feel that the CCTV footage should be used to find out if the guys really tried opening the car’s door handle. If yes, then more serious offenses should be registered against them.

Stalking in Chandigarh – Crime or Culture?

It is all over in our society, our television, the movies, and the songs that encourage guys to approach girls in the same way that Vikas Barala did. If you belong to Chandigarh, I want to ask “What is Gehri Route“? As per the youngsters, Gehri Route is the road along Sector 8,9,10,11 on which all the youngsters come in their big/small cars and the boys follow the girls, try to talk to them using various means and become friends. If you are a hot, good looking girl on the Gehri Route Chandigarh, boys will follow you, compliment you and usually leave if they get no sign of interest from the girl. Mostly guys go to the girls and say, “Excuse me! Can I talk to you for a moment?”, all of which is done peacefully. It is then in the girl’s hand how she wants to deal with it. They may share their phone numbers and become friends. Otherwise, the girl says NO and the guy leaves. This can be seen on a very large scale especially on occasions like Valentines Day.

Anyhow, I, Aseem Shah from Chandigarh understands that this is a wrong practice and it shouldn’t be appreciated or encouraged. Though the fault can not be attributed just to the boys as there are some girls also who can be seen enjoying all this following/ stalking and all also.
In this Chandigarh Stalking Case however, it happened in middle of the night, the guys were drunk and they scared a girl travelling alone, which takes this stupid kind of Ashiqui to the most disgusting level.

Shah Ji aka Aseem Shah from Chandigarh feels that anyone could fall victim to such a harassing situation and the accused here should be punished so that it teaches a lesson to each one of us on knowing our limits. I also feel that the Punjabi Music Videos specifically need to be check as they are not conveying the right message to the youth. The punjabi song by Alfaz “Kudi Rikshey Te Jandi Si, Te Piche Laa Lende Si Caran” is exactly what Vikas Barala did and most of us do in Chandigarh. If Vikas Barala was not related to a politician, this wouldn’t have been such a big criminal case. In fact, Vikas Barala has a disadvantage of being son of Haryana’s BJP President which has made it a national level news.

I am sharing a few of our Punjabi Numbers where you will see that a love story in Punjab starts from following and harassing a girl. If it is an offense, there would be 150 such cases each day in Chandigarh itself. This sort of culture has been prevalent since long, and we need to come together as one to actually change this mindset.

Watch these videos and see how these videos are impacting kids like Vikas Barala:

Conclusion and Confusion by Shah Ji

There have been a lot of discussion on charging Vikas Barala for abetment & kidnapping but I have a doubt:
A. If Vikas Barala did not try opening Vernika’s car door, was he really trying to kidnap her? Should he be charged with something he did not do?
B. If Vikas Barala was not able to kidnap Vernika, should cops have waited for him to successfully kidnap her to charge Vikas for a more serious non-bailable offense?

Shah Ji aka Aseem Shah from Chandigarh appreciates the quick response by Chandigarh Police that helped in saving our daughter from these goons. Also, I feel that such stalking is a very common thing in Chandigarh and Vikas Barala has a disadvantage of being a son of a politician. If it would have been a common man, he would also have got bail on the same night and no one would have objected it.

Apni Soch, Apna Nazariya!

Aseem Shah urf Shah Ji
Chandigarh

UPDATE – 9 Aug 2017, 5:25PM: News reports just came in that Chandigarh police has successfully extracted CCTV footage of the incident, based on which Vikas Barala and a friend have been arrested. The police have added stronger charges to the case; Section 365 with Section 511 (attempt attempt to abduct with intent to wrongful confinement) of IPC, based on which the arrest was made after a lengthy interrogation of the accused by Chandigarh Police

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