Around two months after a series of videos in the Sonepat sisters case went viral on social networking sites with claims and counter-claims about the 'reality' of November 28 molestation-cum-thrashing on a moving bus, a fresh lengthy video posted recently by the complainant sisters has been catching the attention of netizens.
The video 23-minute on YouTube (link available on punjab.ht)
( A shows testimonies Aarti her younger sister Pooja, who hail from a in Sonepat district, parents, co-villagers of Thana Khurd village and their lawyer.
Narrating their life after the bus episode, the two sisters, who are students of local government college here, said that they did not expect media going gaga in their praise with the first video in public domain and later raising question on their integrity. The entire episode had changed their life forever, they claimed.
Advocate Attar Singh Pawar, who is fighting their case in a trial court in Rohtak, said that instead of taking on the accused, the special investigation team (SIT) had gone silent after the reality of ‘molestation’ episode surfaced before them. The police had failed to submit the chargesheet in the case and the report of the polygraph tests conducted on the accused boys and complainant girls even after two months of the incident.
"A woman police officer handling the case had asked Aarti and Pooja to alter their statement against the accused boys so that a compromise could be achieved in the case later at the social level,” claimed Panwar, who is shown sitting in his personal chamber here.
Taking on SIT team, headed by DSP Yashpal Khatana, he said that while the two sisters were suspected of lodging a false complaint against accused boys -- Kuldeep, Deepak and Mohit of Asan village here – in the wake of some fellow passengers’ affidavits, the claims of the latter turned out to be false during the investigation by SIT.
Rajesh Kumar, father of complainant girls, who is a government employee posted in Sonepat district, said that he was facing a double whammy as on one side his daughters who were molested were not getting justice, while on the other khap panchayats have been putting pressure on him to go in for an out-of-court settlement.
“Khap members come to me with the proposal for an out-of-court settlement, while other district caste groups meet police to lodge a counter-complaint against my daughters by raising questions on their character,” he said while adding that his family has been living under a constant threat from “casteist forces”.
Lashing out at the SIT and the media, the two sisters claimed that instead of questioning the accused, who come from a dominating caste, they were asked as to how many times they were molested in their past and whether they maintain any relationship in the past.
Three middle-aged men, not identified in the video, also vouched for girls’ conduct while adding that the fact that the “victims” were portrayed as “culprits” in the media was very unfortunate.
The two girls accused the SIT of deliberately delaying the submission of chargesheet in the case. “The police are ready with their report, but they seem to be working overtime to find some faults with us at the behest of boys’ side,” they claimed.
Notably, the district administration and the police had said that they would deal with this case on a priority basis and would submit the chargesheet in a record time, but even after two months, the chargesheet has not been submitted in the case.
Meanwhile advocate Sandeep Rathee, who is fighting the case on behalf of the accused, defended his clients saying they too wanted a speedy probe on the police end. On authenticity of the affidavits, he said all documents submitted before the police were genuine and he stood by it.
Talking about the shoddy probe by the SIT, Rohtak SSP Shashank Anand said neither the accused nor the complainants have approached him regarding it so far. On delay in charge sheet and polygraph report allegations, the police said they would to submit it soon as per the law after they get wholesome picture of the episode in stipulated time permitted by the court.