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Stalking case hits Haryana BJP

Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

A day after Vikas, son of Subhash Barala, president of the BJP’s Haryana State unit, was arrested, along with his friend Ashish, on the charge of stalking a woman, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday defended his party colleague.

“This matter does not concern Subhash Barala, but pertains to an individual. So the action should be initiated against the individual concerned,” Mr. Khattar told presspersons in Hisar.

He said he had full faith in the police and the judiciary, and hoped that the Chandigarh Police would carry out a proper investigation.

In a press statement, Rajiv Jain, who heads the media department of the BJP in the State, said allegations of political pressure in the case were “baseless” and “without facts”.


Opposition protest

Opposition parties held protests across the State, seeking the resignation of Mr. Barala.

Ashok Tanwar, president of the Congress State unit, who led a protest in Faridabad on Sunday, said an impartial and fair investigation was not possible with Mr. Barala leading the ruling BJP in the State.

Mr. Tanwar demanded that he resign on “moral grounds”.

He said the BJP had coined the slogan Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, but the entire State machinery was involved in protecting the son of the ruling party leader.

Lighter sections

Mr. Tanwar alleged that lighter sections of the Indian Penal Code were invoked in the first information report, and the accused was let off on bail, showing political interference in the investigation.

Leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Assembly Abhay Chautala tweeted that the BJP should immediately remove its State president if the party had any self-respect left.

Complainant’s stand

The complainant told The Hindu over the phone that the Chandigarh police was helpful from the time she made a call to the police control room till she lodged a formal complaint.

“The police literally saved my life. The police reached exactly when one of the boys tried to open the door of my car. I do not know what might have happened had the police not reached in time,” she said.

She said that she told the police exactly what had happened and could not comment on the sections invoked by the police.

“It is their internal matter,” the woman, a disc jockey, said. She did not know the boys prior to the incident.

On social media

Her father said in a Facebook post: “As a father of two daughters, I feel compelled to take this matter to its logical conclusion. The goons must be punished and the law must take its course ... I feel if people with some privileges like us cannot stand up to such criminals, nobody in India can. More important, I will be failing in my duty as a father to my daughter if I did not stand with her completely in this matter.”

Deputy Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar, who is the Sub-Divisional Police Officer of East Chandigarh, said the police were seeking legal opinion to ascertain if more relevant sections could be invoked in the case.

Stalking case hits Haryana BJP

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 1:29:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/haryana-pivots-around-stalking-case/article19440034.ece

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