Investigating with open mind: Chandigarh Police



Under criticism from over its flip-flop in the case of the stalking of a senior IAS officer's daughter by the son of Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala, Chandigarh Police on Monday said that it was investigating the case with an "open mind" and more sections could be "added at a later stage" if required.

Chandigarh's Senior Superintendent of Police Eish Singhal told media here that the incident was being investigated thoroughly and legal opinion was being taken in the matter.

"We are investigating the case with an open mind. If any section has to be added at a later stage, we will do it," he said, while trying to evade direct questions on the role of the Chandigarh Police in trying to shield the main accused, Vikas Barala, and his friend Ashish Kumar.

"We are not doing anything under pressure. We are a professional investigating agency and we are doing our job," Singhal said.

He blamed the media for conducting a "media trial" in the matter.

"We have reconstructed the scene of the crime. We are trying to get the CCTV footage. We will get the technical analysis of this done. We have been investigating it only for three days.," he said.

Defending the police action in this matter, Singhal said that the police officials immediately booked the accused and arrested them though they were later released on bail.

Chandigarh Police on Saturday booked and arrested Vikas Barala and his friend, both of whom were drunk, on charge of stalking the young woman after chasing her car on their SUV. The victim alleged that the youth tried to intimidate her and abduct her.

Earlier, police said there was no CCTV footage of the incident.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar told the media that they tried to get CCTV footage from nine CCTV cameras along the route, from Sector 7 to Housing Board traffic light point, but all were found to be "non-functional".

The route along which the two accused stalked Varnika Kundu, daughter of Haryana Additional Chief Secretary V.S. Kundu, passes through some prominent and busy parts of Chandigarh including the Sector 26 Police Lines.

"It is strange that the CCTV cameras of such high-profile areas were not working. This seems to be a cover-up," a junior police officer told IANS.

The victim and her family have said they will fight the case to its "logical conclusion". - IANS