Haryana government on Thursday decided to put on hold the award announced for the Rohtak sisters, who hogged limelight for thrashing three youth in a bus for allegedly molesting them, pending an inquiry.
In a major development, six women have come forward as witnesses to the November 29 incident and claimed before the police that it was not eve-teasing but a dispute over giving a seat to a woman that led to the incident. These women also got their statements recorded through affidavits with the Deputy Superintendent of Police Yashpal Khatana.
One of the witnesses had claimed in an affidavit that she had asked Kuldeep, one of the accused, to buy a ticket for an unwell woman from the counter when the bus was parked at Rohtak bus stand. “The two girls were already sitting on seat No. 8 which was allotted to the ill woman. He requested the girls to vacate the seat for the sick woman and even showed the ticket to them. Then, he told the sick woman to sit on some other seat but the girls became abusive,” she claimed in the affidavit.
Earlier on Tuesday, another woman passenger claimed that the boys were not at fault.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Rohtak, Shashank Anand said the statement of all the women who have come forward has been recorded and the police also has with it the complaint of the sisters and the counter-complaint by the family of the three accused – Mohit, Kuldeep and Deepak. “We are investigating the matter and would proceed in accordance with law,” he said. The accused, who were nabbed on Sunday, were subsequently released on bail.
In the meantime, the Haryana Roadways staff at Sonepat and Gohana proceeded on a flash strike on Thursday to demand immediate revocation of the suspension of the driver and conductor of the bus in which the incident had taken place.
With questions being raised about the circumstances in which the sisters beat up the three accused boys in the bus, and a video also surfacing of their being involved in another recorded assault on alleged eve-teasers in a park a couple of months ago, the State Government has toned down its stand on the issue.