New Delhi: CCTV footage from five locations in the stalking case involving the son of BJP Haryana president's son was missing, police said Monday, while the party's state unit blamed the victim for driving "so late in the night".
"The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night. Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves," said BJP state vice president Ramveer Bhatti, talking to CNN-News18.
This came when Bhatti was contacted to comment on the Chandigarh police claiming that CCTV footage from 5 locations related to the stalking case in the city were missing. Police sources said the CCTV footage could be a vital piece of evidence in the case.
The 29-year-old daughter of a top bureaucrat alleged that she was followed by Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala's son Vikas Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar last Friday. Barala's SUV pulled up close to her car several times in a bid to block her way from other routes.
The Congress attacked the Haryana and the central governments for allegedly trying to cover-up the case. “We are releasing three videos today, relating to the stalking of a girl by BJP state president Subhash Barala’s son Vikas. The cases filed by the police definitely raise a question. This is clearly a case of abduction. The Centre is trying to stall the case. It was not registered under proper sections of the IPC,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
The Congress leader asked what is stopping the Centre from acting when the Chandigarh police comes directly under the Home Ministry.
“Why is the FIR diluted? Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj protested when a Congress leader's son was involved in a similar case. The word 'sexual' is totally omitted from the police report in the present case. How have the CCTV cameras stopped working? Is the BJP trying to protect its leader?” Surjewala added.
Meanwhile, BJP’s Kurukshetra MP Raj Kumar Saini has said that Subhash Barala should resign on “moral grounds” till the case was on.
Earlier, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar claimed that the state BJP chief Subhash Barala had "nothing to do with the incident". Congress leader Rahul Gandhi retorted by saying that the state government should punish the guilty and not "collude" with culprits and the mindset they represent.
The incident had come to light when the woman called up the police on Friday night and complained that two youth were chasing her. The woman in her complaint had alleged that two youth in an SUV followed her when she was driving from the Sector 8 market in Chandigarh towards Panchkula on the intervening night of August 4 and 5.
"There were two guys inside the SUV, and they seemed to really be enjoying harassing a lone girl in the middle of the night, judging by how often their car swerved, just enough to scare me that it might hit me," the woman wrote on her Facebook post.
“I’m lucky, it seems, to not be the daughter of a common man, because what chance would they have against such VIPs? I'm also lucky, because I'm not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere. If this can happen in Chandigarh, it can happen anywhere," she said.