Social bodies, panchayats lock horns over out-of-court settlement | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Social bodies, panchayats lock horns over out-of-court settlement

punjab Updated: Dec 30, 2014 19:05 IST
Sat Singh
Sat Singh
Hindustan Times
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The proposed out-of-court settlement in the Sonepat sisters' case of alleged molestation in a moving roadways bus on November 28 has become a sticking point between local social organisations and village panchayats.

Representatives of about 18 social organisations held a press conference in support of sisters Aarti and Pooja and decided to meet superintendent of police Shashank Anand against the decision of three village panchayats for an out-of-court settlement.

Kuldeep, Deepak and Mohit of Asan village were booked under Section 354 (outraging modesty) of the Indian Penal Code after they were thrashed by duo sisters, as seen in a video clip, in the alleged molestation case.

Savita, a representative of Janwadi Mahila Samiti, and Sandeep Singh from DYFI social organisation said the decision of village panchayats to intervene in this matter is an attempt to exert pressure on complainants to mellow down.

Criticising the statement of a senior judicial officer, who dubbed the molestation case a compoundable offence that can be solved outside court amicably, they said the statement had hurt them and they would write about it to the Punjab and Haryana high court and Supreme Court.

Social organisations also raised objection to the kind of questions put up before the complainant sisters in the polygraph test conducted on them at Central Bureau of Investigation's forensic science lab in New Delhi.

They added that a delegation of local social bodies would meet the Rohtak SP in this regard on Wednesday and seek a ban on panchayats who want to intervene in this matter.

Last week, panchayats of Kansala, Baketa and Humayupur villages had held a meeting to sort out the issue and formed a 33-member committee, which would meet kin of the accused and complainants to work out a mutual and amicable solution.

Suraj Bhan, who is convener of the committee, told HT that the committee would hold its first meeting at Baketa village on Wednesday and would assign duties of its members to make efforts to sort out the issue at social level.

He said they were in touch with several state-level khap leaders, to seek their intervention in the issue for preserving the social fabric.