Mustering courage, two harassed college-going sisters thrashed three eve-teasers inside a moving bus with passengers remaining mute spectators to their plight.
Police said all the three youths — Kuldeep, Mohit and Deepak — have been arrested.
“We have arrested the three accused and they will be produced before court,” Rohtak SP Shanshank Anand said over phone.
A case under section 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage woman’s modesty) and section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) have been registered against them, he 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 he accused.
Both sisters confronted the accused, with one of the girls even hitting the youths with her belt.
The entire incident, recorded by a passenger on mobile phone, went viral both on television and social media. It showed the two girls using hand and belt to thrash the eve teasers, who appeared to be taken by surpise.
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.
The victims in their complaint alleged that they were “teased” by some youths in a Haryana Roadways bus when they were going to their college on Friday.
When the victims objected, one of the accused started beating them up.
Not go give up easily, the girls fought with the accused as fellow passengers remained mute spectators. One of the victims even hit the accused with a belt, police said.
One of the girls said, “They threatened us and abused us. One of them touched my sister inappropriately. They started making obscene gestures … After heated exchanges, one of the boys called his friends asking him to beat us up. One of them beat my sister while two others caught hold of me.
“Then, I whipped out my belt at thrashed them. They pushed us out of the bus when it slowed down,” she narrated.
The girl also said that she called the emergency helpline number but the response from the other end was that they will return the call within two minutes. However, there was no response.
She said that instead of helping them, some passengers advised them against fighting with the boys, warning that they might even be killed another day.
“None of the passengers came to our rescue. While some watched the drama, others were apprehensive fearing for their own safety,” one girl said.
Meanwhile, the father of the two sisters alleged that there was pressure from the panchayat that the girls should withdraw the complaint.
Reacting strongly to the incident, women rights activist Abha Singh said, “It’s an offence under Section 354a. This is a non-bailable offence. The culprits must be arrested immediately. The people in bus did not come to the help of the girls. We need to amend the law that those who don’t help the victims of molestation should also be punished.
Commenting on the incident, National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumarmangalam said, “I would like to congratulate the girls and ask the authorities to take appropriate action. Few girls have the guts to take on the molesters. The government should take action. I would appeal to every Indian to come forward and help.”