BJP Spokesperson Shaina NC, Prashant Patel, a Supreme Court lawyer, Rupa Murthy, an author of fake news site postcard.news, and Vivek Bansal, a BJP social media volunteer, are among many who circulated an old picture of the victim who was allegedly stalked by Haryana BJP Chief Subhash Barala’s son Vikas Barala. They are circulating this picture with the narrative that the victim is with the accused Vikas Barala in the said picture. Prashant Patel tweeted, “So called victim daughter of IAS from Chandigarh with Vikas Barala. This story is as true as like Jasleen Kaur of Delhi & of Rohtak Sisters.” Many others picked up that image and made it viral on social media with the aforesaid narrative narrative.

Prashant Patel

Vivek Bansal

Jyothsna Yalla

A Facebook page called ‘The Illogical Indian‘ put out the same picture with the title, “Chaste Girl with her Stalkers! #MediaHitJob?“.

A Facebook page called “Narendra Modi – a hope for better India” even put out a comparison by juxtaposing the accused’s picture with the image of the victim and her friends. Yet, something which was screamingly obvious to the naked eye, that the accused Vikas Barala is not in the picture did not seem obvious to these folks.

Narendra Modi - A hope for better India

Alt News spoke to the victim and she stated that the image is many years old and the accused Vikas Barala is not present in the image. An old unrelated image was yet again used for victim shaming and spreading a false narrative. Ironcially, it was a Supreme Court lawyer who started the false narrative. Prashant Patel has been caught spreading fake images multiple times in the past.

However, the victim shaming wasn’t limited to this image. Kuldeep Barala, who has now deleted the following post, went on to claim that the victim herself was inebriated while she was driving according to his ‘sources’. To prove his point, Kuldeep Barala downloaded a picture from the victim’s Facebook album and used it as an attachment. The picture showed the victim sitting on a table with a few glasses of seemingly alcoholic drinks. Alt News spoke to the victim and she confirmed that the image is a few months old.

Kuldeep Barala सुभाष बराला के बढते कद से घबराये विपक्षी इतने घिनोने कार्यो पर उतर आये हैं बड़ी शर्म की बात है l सूत्रों के अनुसार जिस लड़की ने छेड़छाड़ का आरोप लगाया है वह खुद नशे की हालत में थी। कोई छेड़-छाड़ नही हुई । गाड़ीयों का थोड़ा सा टकराव जरूर हुआ । वर्नीका कुन्डु पिता वीरेंद्र कुन्डु ये वही शरीफ और संस्कारी लड़की है जिसने विकास बराला पर आरोप लगाए विकास बराला के मामले में हम क़ानून का सम्मान करते है, क़ानून ने अपना काम किया , जल्दी ही सच माननीय न्यायलय के माध्यम से सबके सामने आ जाएगा । क़ानून पर मेरा अट्टूट विश्वास है -सुभाष बराला पर कब तक इस तरह राजनैतिक षडयत्रों को झेलेंगें आप ?? पहले भी कई बार विपक्षियों ने आपके साथ चालें चली , आपकी ईमानदार और बेदाग छ्वी को धूमिल करने की कोशिशें की.....पर सुरज को चमकने से आधियाँ कभी रोक पाई है भला...सत्य की जीत होगी... सच ही कहा है किसी ने...... जब तक सत्य घर से बहार निकलता है ll तब तक ज़ुठ आधी दुनिया घुम लेता है ll चंडीगढ़ पुलिस ने मामला कमजोर करने की बजाय मीडिया में ना सिर्फ लीक किया, बल्कि प्रेस कॉन्फ्रेंस कर पूरी कहानी अच्छे से रिकॉर्ड करवा दी ताकि किसी भी सूरत में पीछे ना हटना पड़े, ना हटा जा सके। हो सकता है यह कारण ना हो, लेकिन सच यह भी है कि हरियाणा में हुड्डा सरकार के समय लंबे वक्त तक DGP रहे रंजीव दलाल के दोनों IPS दामाद इस वक्त चंडीगढ़ पुलिस में तैनात हैं। एक ट्रेफिक पुलिस के SP हैं जिसकी पेट्रोलिंग पीसीआर ने ये गिरफ्तारी की, दूसरे चंडीगढ़ ईस्ट के एसीपी हैं जिनके तहत सेक्टर 26 का वो थाना आता है जहां मामला दर्ज हुआ है। शनिवार सुबह से गिरफ्तारी की यह खबर मीडिया में लीक की गई और दोपहर को बाकायदा कॉन्फ्रेंस कर दलाल साहब के एक दामाद ने पूरी जानकारी रिकॉर्ड करवाई। बाकी आगे का आप सोच लो, जो सोचना है।

The strategy adopted here is similar to how a fake video was circulated by the Indian right-wing claiming that Gurmehar Kaur was drinking and having a merry time in a moving car. The idea is to character assassinate a woman by showing that she’s having a merry time as significant sections of the Indian society still look down upon women who drink. The idea is to portray that the woman lacks character and ‘deserves’ what she got.

Haryana BJP Vice President Ramveer Bhatti’s statement is also along the same lines, the narrative being, why did the victim stay out so late in the night.

And this mentality seems to pervade through the rank and file of the party in Haryana. The chief minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, in his election campaign had said:

if-they-women-want-freedom-why-dont-they-just-roam-around-naked-manohar-lal-ml-khattar

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With multiple CCTV cameras along the route of stalking being non-functional, with the accused already out on bail, with senior BJP leaders in Haryana indirectly shifting the blame to the victim, will the victim get justice? Will the platforms like Facebook and Twitter get their act together and take action against those who are misusing old images and building a fake narrative against the victim? Or will the rich and powerful subvert justice yet again?

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The troll party faking images to distort truth!! Is anyone surprised?

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