India 'sexual harassment' video men held

India ‘sexual harassment’ video men held


Three men are in jail in India after they were filmed being beaten on a bus by two sisters who accused them of sexual harassment.

A court remanded the men in custody for 14 days.

Mobile phone video of the incident, recorded by a passenger, has gone viral and comes amid growing concern in India about sexual violence against women.

The fatal gang rape of a student in Delhi in December 2012 prompted outrage and tougher anti-rape laws.

Correspondents say public sexual harassment of women, dubbed “Eve teasing” in India, is rampant in parts of the country and causes misery for women when they go out.

The latest incident happened in Rohtak district in the northern state of Haryana when the sisters, who are students, 22-year-old Aarti and 19-year-old Pooja Kumar, were on their way home.

Pooja told BBC Hindi that the three young men “threatened us and abused us”.

“The men started to abuse me and touch me,” she said.

“I told them ‘if you touch me again, you’ll get beaten up’. They called a friend on the phone and told him to ‘come over because we have to beat up some girls’.”

She said they decided to take on the attackers when other passengers did not come to their aid.

“No one came forward in the bus to help us. So we took out our belts in self-defence [and hit the men].

“If only the other passengers had helped us, we would not have needed to retaliate in this way,” said Pooja.

However, the video of the incident shows at least one male passenger repeatedly trying to separate one of the men from the women.

Police in Rohtak said they would charge the men in two days and request a speedy trial. They have also appealed to those travelling on the bus to come forward and be witnesses in the case.

The state authorities said the bus driver and the conductor had been suspended for failing to help the sisters.

Meanwhile, the women’s spirited fight has earned them much praise – the state government has announced plans to honour them with bravery awards on Republic Day (26 January).



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