A large number of policemen, some forming chains, waited for hours today at a police station in Chandigarh for Vikas Barala, the son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, summoned over charges that he stalked a woman and chased her on the streets of Chandigarh last week.
23-year-old Barala junior had been asked to appear by 11 am. Hours later, the police only knew he was heading for Chandigarh.
Vikas and his friend Ashish are out on bail after they were arrested by a police patrol team on Saturday, hours after a chilling high-speed chase that the police say has been recorded on six CCTV cameras.
Varnika Kundu, a 29-year-old DJ, has alleged that after midnight on Friday, Vikas Barala and Ashish tailgated her, blocked her way, banged on her car window and tried to force her door open. In a Facebook post that went viral, she shared that she felt "lucky, because I'm not lying raped and murdered in a ditch somewhere."
Calling her "Beti Varnika", Subhash Barala said that his son would cooperate fully with the police.
"We respect the law. The moment we learnt about the notice, Vikas headed for Chandigarh," Mr Barala told reporters, even pausing to take a call from his son during the press conference.
Earlier, a senior police officer Tejinder Luthra said: "We now have every sufficient evidence in the case...Everything under the sun will be done to ensure justice."
Ms Kundu's Facebook post brought police investigations into the media glare; the police have denied any pressure from the BJP, which rules the state, to protect the top leader's son.
Vikas Barala and his friend were let off within hours of their arrest because the charges against them - stalking and drink driving - are bailable. The police decided against a tougher kidnapping charge claiming Varnika Kundu did not refer to it in her statement before the magistrate.
Subhash Barala emphatically denied influencing investigations. "There is no pressure from me or the BJP in this case till now and it will not happen in the future," he said yesterday.
Mr Barala's resignation has been ruled out by the BJP, which asserts that the case had "nothing to do with him" but involved his son.