The Hindu – Chandigarh stalking accused sent to judicial custody till August 25

Special Correspondent

Chandigarh, 12 August 2017. Vikas Barala, son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, and his friend, Ashish Kumar, both facing charges of allegedly stalking and an attempted abduction of a 29-year-old young woman, were on Saturday sent to judicial custody till August 25 by a local court.

The duo had been earlier remanded in police custody for two days till August 12. The Chandigarh police produced the accused before the duty magistrate here and sought their judicial custody. The court remanded both the accused in judicial custody.

Both the accused were re-arrested on Wednesday as they were charged with Sections 365 and 511 for attempt to abduct of the IPC in the already registered FIR against them for allegedly stalking and harassing the woman.

Vikas and Ashish were earlier been arrested on August 5 on the complaint of the victim, daughter of an IAS officer, who had accused them of chasing her car and trying to kidnap her. But they were released later on bail.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people from different walks of life participated in the ‘Bekhauf Aazaadi’ march held on Friday night here, to bring public attention to violence against women in the backdrop of the Chandigarh ‘stalking’ episode.

The march started at 10 PM from city’s Rose Garden and culminated at the government Arts College in Sector 10 at midnight.

The demands such as fair investigation in Varnika’s case, no curfews timings for girls and working women hostels, making more female cops available at night, gender sensitization of Police officials, strict and concrete action against drunk driving were raised during the march.


The Hindu – Chandigarh to march for women’s rights to public spaces

‘Bekhauf Aazaadi March’ aims to bring to attention crimes against women, sexual minorities and address patriarchy

Special Correspondent

Chandigarh, 11 August 2017. In the backdrop of the recent ‘stalking episode’ in Chandigarh, the city is preparing for the ‘Bekhauf Aazaadi’ march on Friday night to provide a platform for asserting women’s rights to public spaces.

The organisers of the march, led by poet and activist Amy Singh, have created a Facebook page ‘Bekhauf Aazaadi March/Reclaiming the Streets’, asking people to join the march against patriarchy, binaries, oppression and crimes against women which also extend to sexual minorities.

“This isn’t the first time a woman has been harassed on the streets and it won’t be the last if we don’t reclaim the streets.

It’s about time we smash down the patriarchal norms which restrict the women behind closed doors and set the culprits out loose to wreck havoc,” says the page, pointing out that what happened with the victim of the Chandigarh stalking episode has left the city in jitters.

Ms Singh, in her post, said that the march seeks, in a peaceful manner, to address and bring public attention to violence against women.

“We believe that women and other sexual minorities in India deserve to be able to live in society free from violence. We believe in their right to speedy justice and their right to demand accountability from the justice system,” she said.

The proposed march would start at 10 PM on August 11 from Rose garden and end at the Government Arts College at Sector 10 by midnight.