Rohtak: Two sisters whose “crime-fighting” image took a hit after questions were raised about videos showing them thrashing their alleged harassers, today said they were almost driven to suicide.
“There is a lot of pressure on us to compromise and take back our complaint. We would have committed suicide had our family not supported us,” Arti Kumar said at a press conference she addressed with her sister Pooja in Rohtak. They asked the Haryana police to set up a Special Investigation Team monitored by a judge to establish whether they were lying.
Last week, the Haryana government held back its cash reward of Rs. 31,000 each to the sisters till a police investigation is completed.
The women have challenged the police to subject them to a lie detector test, but said the three men arrested for allegedly harassing them on a public bus should also be put through the test.
“The accused are lining up fake witnesses. Give them a narco test. We are also ready to take a test,” the sisters said.
Pooja and Arti, who are 19 and 22, were praised as heroines after the video of them belting the men on the bus – while other passengers simply watched – went viral on social media. The clip was taken by a pregnant woman, the sisters said, but that witness has not been found.
Two days later, another video surfaced of the young women beating up a man in a public park. They said it was filmed by a witness while they punished the man for lewd comments. That witness was also not found.
The families of the accused men say they are innocent. An elderly woman who was on the bus has said in an affidavit to the police that the men did not misbehave.
Last week, the Chief Minister of Haryana, ML Khattar, reportedly assured the families of an impartial inquiry and put the sisters’ reward on hold.