"I Didn't Know if I Would Make It Home", Says Woman Chased by BJP Haryana Chiefs Son Vikas Barala Already Out on Bail

THE CITIZEN BUREAU
Sunday, August 06,2017

CHANDIGARH: Perhaps two statements, one from the young woman chased and attacked by goons, including the son of BJPs Haryana chief, and another from her father, are the most telling in this midnight incident of fear and terror. Presence of mind by the young girl while driving home in Chandigarh, and timely action by the police saved her and she herself said later, it was because she was the daughter of Haryana’s additional chief secretary, and she dreads to think what would have happened to a commoner.

Even so the long chase during which they repeatedly blocked her car, and at a traffic light even tried to drag her out, left her, in her own words with, “hands shaking, my back spasming from fear, half in teas, half bewildered, because I didn’t know if I’d make it home tonight.” A description that will echo with every single Indian woman who lives with this possibility of assault, every moment of her life.

These remarks encapsulate what happened during that chase by BJP Haryana Chief Subhas Barala’s son, Vikas Barala who spotted the young woman at a petrol station and gave chase over kilometres. Some of the major newspapers have not even carried the story on the front page, and others have chosen to accept the police term describing the attempt to abduct and molest the young woman as ‘stalking.’ And of course immediately the excuse that they were “drunk” and hence not responsible for their behaviour has been floated.

The second statement is from the young woman’s father, additional chief secretary with the BJP government in Haryana. He has responded with the worry of a father but ended with a statement that is revealing, and actually strikes at the root of the problem now. After describing the incident in detail the official makes it clear he is not sure of justice. And says that he has shared this post on facebook, “to get some assurance of support in case its needed.”

He makes it clear that while the family has taken a decision to bring these men to book, with no prejudice towards their families and relatives “we know it's not going to be an easy struggle. The possibility of harassment and witch-hunting, threats and even physical harm is undeniable, even though unlikely. Influential families can sometimes take desperate measures to discredit or disable the complainants. Sane friends may advise us against our ourselves of action. We may be foolhardy.

However, I know that the trauma and hurt my daughter has undergone cannot be undone. If we do not persist in trying to bring the guilty to justice, more and more daughters will suffer this hurt. Maybe some may not be as lucky as she. Someone has to stand up. We are standing. So long as we can."


The two men were arrested finally by the police, after prevarications that are now a matter of record. And released almost immediately on bail. It is a sad commentary on the times that a senior bureaucrat is not assured of his family’s safety just because they have decided to pursue the case involving the BJP President of Haryana who has already used his clout to ensure immediate release of his son and his friend.

The full statement as posted on FB by the bureaucrat reads:

"I would like to share with you all a horrendous experience we went through last night.

My daughter was returning home around midnight yesterday in her car when a pipe of goons started following her in a tata safari. This started at 12:15 am in sector 7 market. They tried to block her car at the traffic signal, but she showed presence of mind and sped away. They chased her and blocked her way time and again. She again maneuvered away. She called the police while driving and informed them. The goons continued to chase her and attempting to block her for a few kilometers. She sped thru all red lights, but had to stop at a signal as there were cars stopped there. She swerved thru the traffic and the stalkers followed her brazenly. One of the goons jumped put and tried to enter her car. She somehow maneuvered an escape while honking continuously.police guys from a PCR ran to apprehend the goons.

They called us, and we went to the police station in sector 26. The filing of the complaint and their medical examination etc took four hours. But the FIR was finally lodged and the goons arrested.

Chandigarh police was pretty efficient and helpful. They intercepted the goons, were responsive to her distress calls, and were neutral in filing the complaint.

We are thankful that she survived this ordeal. The goons had a very clear intention of abducting her, and she escaped due to her courage and presence of mind, but it was a very lose call, and her trauma is unimaginable. I suppose it will take her a long time to go back to a normal life.

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. As would be expected, the goons are from influential families. We all know most such cases of harassment go unpunished and even unreported. Most people would not want or dare to take on goons from influential families. I feel if people with some privileges like us cannot stand up to such criminals, nobody in India can. More importantly, I will be failing in my duty as a father to my daughter if I did not stand with her completely in this matter.

I am sharing this with you all for two reasons. One, to give a true and clear picture of what happened. Two, to get some assurance of support in case its needed.

Our clear intention is to bring the culprits to book. We do not intend to harm the families or relatives. However, we know it's not going to be an easy struggle. The possibility of harassment and witch-hunting, threats and even physical harm is undeniable, even though unlikely. Influential families can sometimes take desperate measures to discredit or disable the complainants. Sane friends may advise us against our ourselves of action. We may be foolhardy.

However, I know that the trauma and hurt my daughter has undergone cannot be undone. If we do not persist in trying to bring the guilty to justice, more and more daughters will suffer this hurt. Maybe some may not be as lucky as she. Someone has to stand up. We are standing. So long as we can."
 



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