Attempts by khap panchayats may have failed, but efforts by the state women's commission to put an end to the controversy, created after two sisters were allegedly harassed on a bus in November last year, seem to have worked.
The two sisters and the three accused men, hailing from Asan village, have almost agreed to bury the hatchet.
The women's commission vice chairperson, Suman Dahiya, camped at Rohtak superintendent of police (SP's) office on Friday and summoned both the parties in the case and held talks separately with them.
Later in a press conference, Dahiya, who had earlier advocated stringent punishment for accused, said: "We are hopeful of a mutual agreement between the warring sides on Friday… they have asked for a week's time. Next week, we would repeat our efforts."
However, the accused have outright refused to offer a public apology.
"From the start, we have been demanding a public apology from them so that our dignity is restored and no questions are raised later," said the complaints, residents of Thana Khurd village of Sonepat.
However, the accused youth, who challenged the molestation claims saying the fight erupted over a seat in the bus, said: "We had sought an apology from them earlier, but the question of a public apology does not arise as we are not at fault".
The incident created uproar after a video of the girls and the boys fighting on a moving bus was caught on video by a female passenger and went viral.
One of the accused, Kuldeep Kumar, who was prohibited by the army to sit in a written exam for recruitment after the incident, added: "We are innocent. We would not seek apology from girls…let the court decide on the truth".
The government had also announced an award for the "brave" women, but later put it on hold after more videos showing the sisters thrashing other boys emerged.
Many accused the two siblings of being "serial thrashers" for attracting fame.
A lie detector test and physiological assessment conducted on the accused men and also the complainants in December had indicated that the latter were hiding relevant details sought by the Special Investigation Team, probing the case. email@example.com