Chandigarh: Haryana government on Monday announced that it will honour the two sisters, who single-handedly took on three alleged molesters in a moving bus, on Republic Day as the girls came in for praise for their bravery.
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, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said in a statement, adding effective steps will be taken to ensure security of women passengers.
The girls will be given cash awards on the occasion of Republic Day.
Meanwhile, a local court sent the three youths to judicial custody till December 06.
Taking serious note of this incident, Haryana government has asked state Director General of Police (DGP) and state transport department to take steps for ensuring safety and security of passengers especially women travelling in the Haryana roadways buses.
The bus drivers and conductors have also been directed to make sure that such incidents do not occur in future, it said.
The brave girls, Aarti and Pooja, thrashed the youths even as they were themselves assaulted by them. The girls hit one particular youth with a belt and their hands and legs in the incident that took place Friday, even as passengers remained mute spectators.
The matter came to light after a woman travelling in the same bus recorded the incident on her mobile phone, police officials said Sunday.
Police, following a complaint by the girls, registered a case against the youth. No arrests have been made so far.The girls alleged that the boys were blowing kisses at them and throwing slips towards them on which their mobile phone numbers were written. When the girls objected to this, the youth made lewd gestures and passed comments on them. A fellow woman passenger also objected but she was also harassed by the youths.
Other passengers in the bus, including the bus driver and conductor, did not come to rescue or help the two girls. The bus kept moving as the girls were being assaulted.
The sisters claimed that the bus stopped after some distance and the youth, and his accomplices, pushed them out of the moving bus and started hitting them. While one girl fell on the road, the other one fell in a field.
One of the sisters then attacked the youth with a brick after which he fled from the spot.
The bus crew and other passengers neither helped the girls nor did they inform police.
The girls called up the police and women helpline but failed to get any response.
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 surprise.
All the three youths -- Kuldeep, Mohit and Deepak - were later arrested.
"All the girls should do what these sisters did. They did well. But it is sad that none of the other passengers came to their help. The society has to change its mindset and people should stop being mere onlookers when such incidents take place," Union Minister Uma Bharti said, reacting to the incident that has triggered spontaneous indignation.
"What the girls wear, does not matter. People should come together and ensure that women are respected and their dignity is maintained," she said.
National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumarmangalam too praised the girls.
"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," she said.
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.
The father of the two sisters alleged that there was pressure from the panchayat that the girls should withdraw the complaint.
(With agency inputs)