After becoming the target for criticism in a stalking and abduction case in Haryana, the daughter of a senior IAS officer has called it a well-established tactic to intimidate her.
Varnika Kundu, a 29-year-old DJ, was chased on the streets of Chandigarh and nearly kidnapped allegedly by Vikas Barala, 23, and his friend Ashish, 22. Reports say that CCTV footage might help tighten the case against Vikas Barala, who is the son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala.
'Not your business if I stay out late'
In response to comment from Haryana BJP vice president Ramveer Bhatti, who questioned as to why women are "allowed to roam around at night", Varnika told NDTV, "It is none of his business, it is my business and my family's what I do and where...If it wasn't for men like these, I wouldn't be unsafe going out... whether it was 12 am or 2 am or 4 am."
Varnika asked why she was being quizzed about it. "If it happens at night it's my fault? Can the men not control their urges at night? Why am I being questioned? I am the one who was under attack...but they are not questioned," she said.
Kundu called this a 'well-established tactic to intimidate her' so that she backed off. "But what would have been the case if those guys had caught me?" she asked.
The investigating officer had released both Vikas Barala and Ashish on bail without producing them in court. Charges of stalking and wrongful restraint are bailable, while the charges of kidnapping based on the fact that the two accused tried to open the door of her car would attract a non-bailable warrant.
MHA seeks report
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has directed Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi for a detailed report on the allegations. He has also sought updates on the investigation that has taken place so far.
The Chandigarh administration has been asked to submit that report, as early as Tuesday, a Home Ministry official told the Times of India. He further added that there are several allegations being made in an attempt to hush up the case against the accused keeping in view his political connections.
Earlier, the Congress had tried its hand in accusing the Centre of diluting the case. Congress leader RS Surjewala reportedly said that the Home Ministry directly controls the Chandigarh administration and that they are conspiring to hush up things in that matter to protect the Haryana BJP president.