Haryana 'stalking' case: CCTV cameras along route ‘non-functional’, say police

August 07, 2017 01:33 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 12:32 pm IST - Chandigarh

Haryana BJP chief  Subhash Barala

Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala

Under attack for diluting the case of alleged stalking and attempted kidnap of a young woman on Friday night by Vikas Barala, son of the Haryana State BJP president Subhash Barala, and his friend Ashish, the Chandigarh police on Monday found itself again in the dock after it was reported that CCTV footage from at least five locations was missing as the cameras were non-functional. The duo was released soon after their arrest on Friday night.

The police were tight-lipped on the allegations of CCTV footage having gone “missing”. “We are in the process of gathering feed from CCTVs along the route of the incident. Technical analysis will be done once the footage is collected,” Eish Singhal, Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh, told reporters here.

‘Centre covering up’

While the opposition Congress accused the Central government of attempting to hush up the entire matter to protect the Haryana State BJP president’s son, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said he would file a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for a court-monitored CBI probe.

“Home Ministry, which directly controls the UT administration and UT Police of Chandigarh, is attempting to hush up the entire matter to protect the Haryana State BJP president and his son,” said senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Haryana State BJP media head Rajeev Jain, meanwhile, said Mr. Subhash Barala had not resigned and rumours about his resignation were false. Defending Mr. Barala, vice-president of the Chandigarh BJP unit Ramveer Bhatti instead asked why the victim was out so late at night.

The victim responded to the statement, saying, “Instead of asking me, those boys should be questioned why were they out so late.”

“While on one hand we speak about empowering the women and on the other hand such ridiculous talks are done,” she said while speaking to reporters, adding that she would not be deterred by such frivolous statements.

She said that “It's because of boys like these (accused) that women are unsafe.”

Commenting on the dropping of IPC section 365 (kidnapping) and 511 (attempt to commit offences punishable with imprisonment) by the Chandigarh police, she said the police had been helpful and she could not comment on the sections invoked.

‘No pressure’, say police

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said no attempt should be made to dilute the charges against the accused in the case. Chandigarh Senior Superintendent of Police Eish Singhal denied that the police was under any kind of political pressure, saying the force was quick enough to register the case.

He, however, chose not to give a direct answer on the question regarding non-functional CCTV cameras, saying “CCTV footages are being collected”.

Mr. Singhal also said as the investigations were underway, other sections of the IPC would also be added to the FIR if requried.

Police sources said CCTV footage from private cameras was available and the police had started examining them to trace the vehicle stalking the victim, but as far as the feed from CCTVs installed by the administration was concerned, the police are yet to have access.

(With inputs from PTI )

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