The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday resorted to blaming the woman involved in the Chandigarh stalking case, questioning why she was allowed to “stay out so late”.
“The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night,” Haryana BJP Deputy President Ramveer Bhatti told CNN-News18. “Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves.”
Haryana BJP President Subhash Barala, whose son Vikas Barala is one of the two accused in the case, has yet to comment. Bhatti made the remarks when he was asked about the Chandigarh Police claiming that CCTV footage from five locations where the accused stalked the woman was missing. The footage could have been vital evidence in the case.
‘The men in the photograph are my friends, not the accused’
Meanwhile, a photograph of the woman with two men went viral on social media after a Supreme Court advocate shared it on Twitter calling her a “so-called victim”. Advocate Prashant P Umrao has implied that the two men in the photograph are Vikas Barala and Ashish Kumar, the other accused in the case who was arrested and released on bail along with Barala on Saturday.
The post was met with instant and widespread victim-shaming, with many believing Umrao’s claim that the men accused of stalking and trying to abduct the woman were known to her.
The woman, however, clarified that it was a “very old picture” and that the two men in it were her friends and not the accused. “The two men in the photograph are my friends,” she told Scroll.in. “It is sad that they are being branded as perpetrators. Some people are spreading blatant lies.”
She also reiterated that she had “never seen these guys before they pulled up” next to her in an SUV when she was driving to Panchkula from Chandigarh on Friday night.
BJP rules out Subhash Barala’s resignation
BJP’s National General Secretary Anil Jain said the party’s Haryana unit chief Subhash Barala will not resign from his post for a case his son was implicated in. “Barala has not resigned, and he will not resign,” Jain told The Indian Express. “Let law take its own course.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has demanded the BJP state chief’s resignation, alleging that the Chandigarh administration and the police were under the saffron party’s control. He further accused the BJP of trying to protect Barala and cover up the matter.