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Chandigarh tampering case: accused deny all the allegations

A day after the police added kidnapping to stalking charge, accused tell they were informed of the charge only when they reached the station.

Haryana BJP Chief Subhash Barla‘s son Vikas Barla and his friend Ashish Kumar were accused of stalking and trying to kidnap DJ Varnika Kundu, daughter of an IAS officer in Chandigarh.

Barala and Kumar were arrested on Wednesday on charges of under section 365 (kidnap) with Section 511 (attempt to abduct) of IPC. The duo had earlier been arrested on August 5 on charges under section 354 D (stalking a woman), 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code and 185 of Motor Vehicle Act (driving by a drunken person) and but were soon released on bail.

Summons were issued to Vikas and Ashish to appear for questioning. Both the accused were interrogated and arrested by the police on Thursday. At Chandigarh district courts, where the duo were produced in the afternoon, the lawyer representing Barala and Ashish termed the case a “media trial” and that section for kidnapping bid was added, “under pressure”. He said that the accused were not chasing the victim and also had not planned any kidnapping. He also highlighted that no weapons were found in their car and if they were planning a kidnap they would have followed Varnika till the end, but this did not happen. The lawyer informed that there was no interaction between the accused and the victim and Vikas and Ashish did not even know why they were arrested on the night of the incident.

When the duo were tried in court on Friday, Vikas and Ashish said that they were not following Varnika nor did they try to kidnap her. They came to known about the allegations only after they were arrested. During the investigation, Police examined the CCTV footage of 5 cameras and saw that a Tata Safari Storme was following Varnika’s car and both the cars were spotted running parallel also few times. Ashish was also seen walking towards Varnika’s car at one instance.

Vikas defending himself agreed that he was driving the car spotted in the CCTV footage and Ashish was sitting next to him but they were not stalking Varnika. He said that he was going to leave Ashish who also stays in Panchkula. Further giving details about the incident he said that his car was hit by an unidentified car, on insistence by Ashish Vikas started following the car. Ashish had got down of vehicle and moved towards the other vehicle but when he saw it was a woman driving, he backed off.