Haryana puts on hold award for Rohtak girls

The Haryana government on Thursday decided to put on hold the award to honour the two braveheart sisters who fought their “harassers” with courage in a moving bus last week.

The government said the decision to honour the sisters had been put on hold pending the outcome of the inquiry that is underway to ascertain the veracity of the charges levelled by the girls.

The change in decision seems to have been triggered in the wake of contradictory claims that have emerged after the onboard brawl involving sisters Pooja and Aarti and the three accused in the case.

A day after the incident came to light, the government had announced a cash reward of Rs 31,000 to each of the two sisters, besides facilitating them on Republic Day.

Villagers, along with the family of the accused, had then met Chief Minister M L Khattar claiming that the three youth were innocent. Certain claims by co-passengers in the bus also contradict the statements by the girls on eve-teasing.

Eyewitnesses have deposed before the police saying that the accused were innocent and the fight took place over a seat in the bus.

Jawahar Yadav, the officer on special duty to the chief minister said, a decision has been taken to put on hold the honouring ceremony pending the outcome of the inquiry. Yadav said the government was not against either of the party and will wait for the final outcome of the police report. He said the initial decision to facilitate the girls was taken in the wake of media reports.

Sources said the suspension of the driver and the conductor of the state roadways bus too has been put on hold. After being declared bravehearts by the state and the public, the two sisters have become targets of a fierce mudslinging.
Contradicting the version of the girls who said they resorted to beating the youth after they were harassed, an old woman co-passenger maintained the boys were innocent and the fight was over a seat.

She said: “I had asked the boy to get tickets. But these girls were sitting on that seat and refused to get up. That’s when the argument started. The boys did not harass the sisters”.

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