Indian sisters filmed fighting back against alleged harassers

Article from The Guardian.

A video showing two sisters in northern India hitting back at men who allegedly harassed them on a crowded bus has gone viral in a country where many women endure sexual harassment on a daily basis.

The footage, filmed by a passenger and aired on several television channels on Monday, shows the two young women punching their alleged harassers and lashing out with a belt. The women, identified only by their first names, Arati and Pooja, told reporters that the men had made lewd comments and tried to touch them.

“One of the boys started touching my sister and making kissing gestures,” Arati said. “I told him to go away or I would teach him a lesson. Then he called another boy saying that we have to beat up two girls. And then the other boy got on the bus.”

The sisters said that no one on the bus tried to help them.

Press Trust of India reported that the video was shot on Friday as the sisters were on their way to college.

By late Sunday, police in the state of Haryana had arrested three men and were investigating the incident.

As the news of the women’s actions spread, Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana’s chief minister, praised the two women and said they would be honoured during India’s republic day celebrations in January.

The video drew a massive response on social media, with many Indians applauding the sisters’ bravery, while criticising other passengers for failing to come to their aid.

Sexual violence and harassment of women has been the subject of a heated debate in India since the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a bus in Delhi in December 2012.

Hundreds of thousands of Indians took to the streets in protest after that attack. The anger pushed the government to change the law to introduce more stringent measures to deal with attacks against women.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FePWT2QavNY

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