Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Girl, 14, Dies After Being Thrown Off Bus for Resisting Molesters in Punjab

The bus is reportedly operated by an influential political family

MOGA, PUNJAB:  A 14-year-old girl died and her mother is in hospital with severe injuries after they were thrown off a moving bus in Punjab on Wednesday for resisting molestation attempts by a group of men. The teenager, her mother and younger brother boarded the private bus from their village in Moga district, to visit a gurdwara last evening. There were only a handful of passengers at the time.

"They kept abusing us. No one helped. They first pushed my daughter off the bus, then me," the girl's mother, who was unconscious for hours at a district hospital, said on Thursday. The harassment allegedly began the moment the family got on the bus. "The conductor refused to give my daughter a ticket," said the woman, 38. Around 10 km into the journey, a passenger allegedly started misbehaving with the girl. When the woman tried to save her daughter, she was attacked too. The bus conductor, instead of helping them, allegedly also joined in and started abusing both mother and daughter. In desperation, the woman ran to the driver and begged him to stop the bus, but he allegedly kept driving.

The woman and her daughter were allegedly harassed by half a dozen men, said to be the driver's friends, until the bus slowed down at a turn. The woman alleges that she and her daughter were then pushed off the bus. As hours passed before they could get any medical help, the girl died on the road.

A case of murder has been registered. The bus, reportedly operated by an influential political family, has been found but the police are still looking for the driver and the conductor. Angry villagers at the hospital said 12 hours had passed without any action. "We are investigating. We will not spare the accused," said Jatinder Khaira, a senior police officer.