NEW DELHI: Any one day is weighed against women but it is not always, even in India, that in just over 24 hours two young girls beat up eve teasers, a celebrity is slapped for wearing a short dress, a young boy is found dead after defending a girl from being harassed, and two young lovers are killed brutally for defying caste and religious barriers.

Independence was as always seen as “defiance” leading to violence and death. In at least two incidents people stood by and watched the violence taking place, without lifting a hand to help.

“Honour Killing’ the misnomer used to describe brutal murder took the lives of 20 year old Sonu Kumar, a Jatav Dalit and Dhanishta,18, a Rangadh Muslim in a village in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh. Their families would exchange sweets over festivals but ever since the two young people declared their love for each other, relations soured dramatically. Sonu’s parents sent him away but he returned and according to police reports the two eloped and were married. Sonu was hacked to death allegedly by his young wife’s brothers, while her throat was slit. The police is looking for the killers.

In Hyderabad Harshvardhan Rao, 19, paid with his life when he protected his classmate from being harassed by a senior. thought a senior student at his Hyderabad college was trying to harass a female classmate, he objected. Just two hours later, on Saturday, he was dead, after being assaulted by his senior, who is now wanted on charges of murder, and is missing. Rao was walking down a college corridor with friends when, according to reports, a final year student Satish Kodkar reportedly teased a girl in the group. Rao objected. Later Kodkar walked into Rao’s classroom and beat him until he fell unconscious. And died later in hospital. Students are now vandalizing the college demanding action against Kodkar who is absconding but while Rao was being beaten up they all stood and watched. Eve teasing is common in the college, according to reports quoting students.

In a third incident, model and actor Gauhar Khan was slapped by a fanatical member of the audience while she was hosting a reality show in Mumbai, India’s Raw Star. The man attacked and threatened her for wearing a short dress. Identified as Mohammed Akil Mallick (24), he was arrested and booked.

In the midst of this was an act of courage in Rohtak where two young girls took on a group of eve teasers in a bus. Again no one helped, but just stood by and watched. The two young girls were going home after college and the men started passing comments, and making lewd gestures. Since the passengers did not intervene they got bolder, and started using foul language, and physically touching the girls. "On the bus, they made obscene gestures, touched us and abused us. We could not take it anymore and started beating them. One of the men grabbed my sister's hand and the other held me by the neck. That's when my sister took out her belt and started hitting them," one of the young girls Pooja later told reporters.

Her sister Aarti added, "Others in the bus told us 'don't do anything... they will rape you or pour acid on you. They will kill you'...We were scared but we did not give up." The girls then decided to defend themselves and hit the men repeatedly after which they gave up. A video clip of the incident went viral, and the police had to arrest the three men Kuldeep, Mohit and Deepak.

The sisters alleged that the men's families tried to pressure them to drop the complaint. "They told our father - change the statement - they are about to join the army...their lives will be ruined. What about our lives? Can men like these protect our country?" Pooja said.