Fightback: 2 college girls beat molesters with belts on Indian bus (VIDEO)
Aarti, 22, and Pooja, 19, were returning from Rohtak College to the town of Sonepat, India’s state of Haryana, when they were approached by three men. The incident happened on November 24, but the information emerged in the local press only on Saturday.
The men - identified later as Kuldeep, Mohit and Deepak - started harassing the girls with filthy remarks.
"They threatened us and abused us. One of them touched my sister inappropriately. They started making obscene gestures,” one of the girls told the Hindustan Times.
She added that after “heated exchanges, one of the boys called his friends asking him to beat us up. One of them beat my sister while two others caught hold of me.”
However, the girls didn’t succumb: they mustered enough courage to thrash the molesters with their hands and belts, trying to push them out of the bus.
"Then, I whipped out my belt and thrashed them. They pushed us out of the bus when it slowed down," she said.
One of the passengers recorded the video on a mobile phone, and the footage went viral.
Not a single person in the bus lifted a finger to help the young women.
"None of the passengers came to our rescue. While some watched the drama, others were apprehensive, fearing for their own safety," one girl said.
Police later arrested all three men on charges of molestation and assault.
The girls’ father told the Indian Express that the families of the accused “were pressuring us to withdraw the case and reach a settlement.”
Chair of the National Commission for Women Lalitha Kumarmangalam congratulated the young women and urged 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 and help,” she added.
The issue of sexual assaults on women in India has been in the spotlight since the gang rape of a student on a Delhi bus in December 2012. That case led to widespread protests across the country and ignited intense debate over the rights of women.