Police in India’s northern Haryana state have arrested three men after two female students registered a complaint of sexual harassment on a bus, an incident caught on tape and showing the women fighting back.
The three men were arrested on Sunday night for “eve-teasing” the women in Rohtak district when the two sisters, aged 22 and 19, were on their way home. The incident reportedly occurred last Friday.
“We have arrested three men. The main person involved is Kuldeep Singh. The other two involved are Mohit and Deepak. The three will be presented in court tomorrow and then will be taken into judicial custody,” said police officer Gajendra Singh.
Al Jazeera’s Karishma Vyas, reporting from New Delhi, reported that the young women say “they resorted to attacking the men after fellow passengers failed to intervene. Their actions are now attracting wide support on social media”.
The women said the harassment continued on board the bus and explained how the incident escalated to the point where one of the men began hitting one of the women.
No other passengers on board appeared to help the women in the video.
‘Awarded for bravery’
“Eve-teasing” is a common term used in India to describe public harassment of women. It can range from cat-calling on the street to molestation, threats that women and girls face on a daily basis in the country, especially when walking on the street and using public transport.
A politician of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), OP Dhankar, said the girls were an inspiration to everyone and offered a cash reward to them.
“Every girl should show bravery done by the two girls. I respect their bravery. Both the girls will be awarded rupees 31,000 (nearly $498) each. The government will probe into the case,” said Dhankar in Jhajjar district.
Indian laws prevent identification of alleged victims’ names in any sexual harassment case.
In December 2012, the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student in New Delhi caused national outrage with mass protests across the country for stringent rape laws and fast track courts to punish the perpetrators.