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 whom so ever 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. A co-passenger who identified herself as Bimla said that the boys were not involved in any crime in the bus. "It was a fight over seat in which the boys did not say anything to the girls," the lady claimed.
She also claimed that boys never eve-teased the girls. "Instead the boys jumped from the bus to get them self free from the attack by the girls who later followed them,"Bimla said. "The boys didn't even raise their voice...bestowing honour on girls on the part of government without proper enquiry is incorrect...the girls are of bad character," Bimla said.
Another twist was added into the case when one more video surfaced showing the two sisters beating up a youth in a park for allegedly teasing them. With the enquiry pending, the government also reinstated the driver and conductor of the roadways bus who were suspended earlier this week after the incident came into light.