There have been only two burning issues in media for the last two days: the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections and Varnika Kundu. I thought Varnika Kundu stalking case will lose to the Gujarat elections, but not really. The Chandigarh police has given it a new lease of life yesterday. The lady (with greying hairs) claims to have been stalked and attempted kidnapped (‘attempt to abduction’ as registered by the police is the right nomenclature though) by a politically influential person. As usual some idiots have questioned her presence on the public road after midnight. Some have also posted her pictures with guys. As reported in media, she is a DJ, so her presence on public roads after midnight and pics with guys is more normal than abnormal. Anyways, it is irrelevant.
However, I have a serious doubt about this being a simple case of stalking. Somewhere I read that her car brushed the car of the accused persons, which led to the car chase. If this is true, this is a more serious offence than mere stalking. Recently, a young guy was killed in Bihar in very similar circumstances by a politician’s son. Since this time it was a woman, it seems the police found it convenient to book the accused persons for a simple bailable offense of stalking whereas the offenses committed are far graver like that of attempt to murder/culpable homicide/death by negligence. Her Facebook testimony makes it pretty clear that she was forced to drive in a negligent manner, which could have led to a fatal accident. However, from her testimony I am not convinced that there was any attempted abduction. Knocking on windows or attempting to open car doors doesn’t mean an attempt to abduct. It seems the accused persons were interested more in a fight. However, it doesn’t look like the accused persons were carrying any weapons, else police would have recovered them (unless they are shielding the accused persons).
However, I have found discrepancies in her testimony as well. Her estimation of time to the last second is abnormal. Her not immediately informing her friend with whom she was talking at the start of car chase is also abnormal. It doesn’t take 6 KMs to block a car. Why the car was blocked at the traffic signal? Was it because of some forced traffic halt? It doesn’t look like the traffic lights should be working at 12.30 AM in a comparatively less populated city like Chandigarh. While she was driving on the 5-6 KM stretch, were any catcalls made? Her testimony doesn’t aver any. Why should a stalker take the risk of abducting a woman at a traffic signal, where PCR vans are generally stationed and the traffic movement also slows down because of the intervening traffic from the crossing roads?
It seems the police has been able to obtain the CCTV footage of the whole car chase. It should corroborate the testimony of the complainant and also explain how this was stalking, not road rage (I think the police has a duty towards public to make this explanation). To be very frank, brushing of her car with the accused persons’ car is a small event compared to what the accused persons did thereafter. If it happened, it shouldn’t have been hidden. If it has been hidden, it shows that the lady has also tried to take advantage of her gender and converted a non-sexual offense, albeit a more serious one, into a sexual offence. Though she has gained media mileage out of it, but I don’t see how it helps her unless she was also publishing a desperate matrimonial in her Facebook testimony (Indian media can sell anything, even brides and bridegrooms by organising ‘Swayamvar’).