New Delhi, Dec. 17: A 23-year-old woman was raped and brutalised by a group of men inside a private luxury bus with curtains she had boarded last night in Delhi, and is now on a ventilator with her intestines and uterus ruptured.
Sources in Safdarjung Hospital said an iron rod that was inserted into her body had left her “entire body messed up” and that chances of survival were “slim”.
The account was provided by a male friend who had boarded the bus with the victim and was stripped and beaten when he protested. Both were thrown out of the moving bus naked on a south Delhi highway after about 45 minutes.
The friend, discharged from Safdarjung Hospital after treatment of his external head injuries, said the bus had no other passengers and that the “five or six” attackers were drunk and appeared to be cleaners and other staff.
Police sources said the bus had been traced to a school in Noida and that it ferried children to and from the school on weekdays. On Sunday, the employees had taken it out apparently to earn some extra cash.
The police said seven men had been detained and that the victim’s friend had identified four of them. Late tonight, officers confirmed the arrest of bus driver Ram Singh, 30, and his brother Yogesh.
The victim is a trainee paramedic in Dehra Dun and was taking a break in Delhi after her exams. She is from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh and had trained as a physiotherapist in Meerut. The friend is from Gorakhpur and works part-time as an engineer with a computer firm but wants to be an IAS officer.
Officers said the two of them had boarded the bus at Munirka, south Delhi, around 9.15pm after watching a movie. They intended to travel to Dwarka in southwest Delhi.
Social activists who have spoken to the victim’s friend said the couple got into an argument with the bus staff.
“The employees rebuked the young man for being out with the woman so late. The argument became physical,” an activist said, paraphrasing the victim’s friend whose statement has been recorded by the police.
“Some of the attackers took the boy to the back of the bus and stripped him, while the others stripped and raped the girl. Then they attacked the girl with a rod and later threw both of them out of the moving bus.”
Chhaya Sharma, deputy commissioner (south), said: “The manager of the Mahipalpur toll plaza called the control room at 10.20pm and informed us about two people found near it. They were rushed to hospital by a PCR van around 11.30.”
She did not explain the delay; nor would she confirm that the bus had been found.
“It was a luxury bus with curtains and there could be about 50-60 buses in the city that look similar,” she said.
“We have recovered CCTV footage from the highway; we request all media channels to play it so the public can come forward and identify the bus.”
The bus number cannot be clearly seen in the footage. Sharma said a case of kidnapping, robbery and rape had been registered against unnamed accused.