Chandigarh | Within less than a week after the two sisters hogged limelight for thrashing youths in a bus for allegedly molesting them, Haryana government today decided to put on hold the award announced for them pending an inquiry.
The award announced for the two sisters by the state government which was to be bestowed upon them on Republic day had been ‘put on hold pending an inquiry’ in the case, Chief Minister’s Officer on Special duty (OSD) Jawahar Yadav said. Against whomsoever evidence is found action will be taken, he added.
After a video of the girls thrashing three boys in a moving bus went viral on social media and news channels declaring the sisters as ‘bravehearts’, the Haryana government had announced to honour the two sisters on the occasion of Republic day.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said in an official statement that both the girls had shown indomitable courage and bravery by opposing the misdemeanour of three youth who tried to molest them in a moving bus of Haryana Roadways at Rohtak. The two college-going sisters had confronted three alleged molesters inside a moving bus, with one of the girls even hitting the youths with her belt, even as passengers remained mute spectators.
The parents of the two girls lodged an FIR with Haryana police against the three youths informing that the molesters got down at the Kansla village in Rohtak. All the three youths — Kuldeep, Mohit and Deepak, were arrested and later released on bail. A case under section 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage woman’s modesty) and section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) was registered against them, police said.
The incident triggered spontaneous indignation from women rights activists, with National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumarmangalam asking the authorities to take appropriate action against the accused.
However, the case took a new turn later with four women from Aasan village, the native hamlet of the sisters, giving an affidavit in Sadar police station at Rohtak claiming that the boys were not involved in molestation of the sisters.
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More question marks emerged on Tuesday in the story of the two Rohtak sisters who beat up their alleged “harassers” on a Haryana Roadways bus last week, with the release of a second video of them beating and kicking another young man, and a village sarpanch saying that the two had lodged a complaint in May against three more youths, including a minor.
Aarti, the elder sister, confirmed the incident shown in the second video that was shot inside the HUDA park in Rohtak. However, the 22-year-old refused to comment on the complaint that she and her 19-year-old sister Pooja had filed five months ago against the youths from Sisana village, alleging that they had slapped and manhandled them.
Late on Tuesday, police said they were looking at three separate incidents involving the two sisters and a total of seven youths, six of whom are students of Jat College in Rohtak.
Mohit, Kuldeep Singh and Deepak Hooda, the three accused of harassing the girls in the “bus video” have been remanded to judicial custody till December 6; the unidentified youth in the second video has not been traced; and, no FIR was filed following the complaint lodged against the three others in May.
Police have still not been able to find out who shot the second video, and how it landed in the hands of Shripal, father of Deepak, who released it on Tuesday. The Indian Express had reported on Monday that police were also yet to trace the person who shot the first video on the bus last week – the girls have claimed that it was done by a pregnant woman they were trying to help.
The new video emerged a day after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced cash rewards for the two sisters, and official sources said that Kuldeep and Deepak – who had passed a preliminary test for the post of Jawan in the Army – would no longer be considered for recruitment.
Deepak’s father Shripal told The Indian Express that the second video “arrived at their doorstep under mysterious” circumstances. “We cannot reveal how it reached us,” he said. “But we do not know who the boy is. Maybe, his family does not want him to get into trouble.”
Shripal added that it was now the “job of the police” to investigate the matter.
As for the two other accused, Mohit’s family was not available for comment while Balbir Singh, father of Kuldeep, has been admitted to a hospital for treatment of hypertension, high blood pressure and a heart condition.
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