Before the khap panchayats can settle the Sonepat sisters molestation case, much-talked-about since the filmed incidents aboard a Rohtak bus on November 28 last year, they have own differences to sort out on the manner of going about it.
Objecting to the tone in which the khap mahapanchayat coordinated by Ahlawat khap head Hardeep Singh Ahlawat has accused it of going slow, Sonepat’s Dahiya khap has questioned its authority to issue such a notice.
Last year, villagers Kuldeep, Mohit and Deepak from Asan in Rohtak district were arrested on the molestation charge and later released. During a press conference at Kharkhauda village in Sonepat district on Saturday, Dahiya khap head Surender Dahiya said: “Our representative went to the January 18 Rohtak meeting of all khaps, in which they requested us to try and resolve the issue. However, the notice asking us about the progress seems more a binding than a request.”
“We are not bound by anyone’s order,” said Dahiya, adding: “It is a social issue and we are trying our best to preserve the social fabric.” On other side, Ahlawat, said the Dahiya and Hooda khaps had themselves said they could bring the girls on board in 10 days. “Dahiya khap bound itself,” he added.
Accepting that they were in talks with Dahiya khap, Suresh Khatri, who leads the 27-member committee representing the sisters from Sonepat village, said the first priority was to restore the dignity of the two victims. “Let the accused first tender public apology and call Aarti and Pooja, who go to a college in their district, their sisters; we’ll then withdraw the court case,” said Khatri, who runs a gun house at Sampla town.