The Telegraph
Saturday , January 5 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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People passed us by: Victim’s friend
‘Police debated turf as girl lay bleeding’

New Delhi, Jan. 4 (PTI): The friend of the bus gang rape victim tonight accused Delhi police and passers-by of not helping the couple after they were thrown out of the vehicle.

“We were without clothes. We tried to stop passers-by. Several auto-rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but no one stopped for about 25 minutes. Then someone on patrolling stopped and called the police,” he told Zee News in an interview tonight.

Contradicting cops’ claims that they acted swiftly after being informed, he said the police vans arrived at the scene only after about 45 minutes and wasted time in deciding under whose jurisdiction the case fell.

The youth claimed that nobody, not even the police, gave them clothes or called an ambulance. “They were just watching us,” he said, adding that after repeated requests, someone gave him a part of a bedsheet to cover the girl.

He rued that no one from the public came forward to help. “People were probably afraid that if they helped us, they would become witnesses to the crime and would be asked to come to police stations and courts.”

The friend said he had to carry the profusely bleeding girl to the police van on his own as the cops didn’t help. “Even at the hospital, we were made to wait and I had to literally beg for clothes. I borrowed a stranger’s mobile and called my relatives, but just told them that I had met with an accident. My treatment started only after my relatives came.”

He said he was hit on the head. “I was not able to walk. I was not able to move my hands for two weeks,” he said, recounting his trauma on the night of December 16.

“When I met my friend (the girl) in the hospital, she was smiling. She was able to write and was positive. I never felt that she did not want to live,” he said.

When she gave the first statement to a lady magistrate, only then I came to know what had happened to her. “I couldn’t believe what they did to her. Even when animals hunt, they don’t mete out such brutality to their prey,” he said.

The police tonight registered a case against Zee News for airing the interview with the friend, who is the lone witness to the crime.

The case was filed under Section 228 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to disclosure of identity of victim of certain offences, including rape, Delhi police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said.

The police contested the youth’s claims that the patrol vans reached the spot late. The control room received the call at 10.22pm and a van, PCR-Z-54, was directed to the spot. It reached there around 10.28pm. Another van, E-42, arrived there on its own at 10.26pm, police spokesperson Bhagat said late tonight.

The victims were picked up at 10.31pm and reached Safdarjung Hospital at 10.55pm, Bhagat said, adding that all PCR vans were fitted with GPS systems that could not be tampered with.

The 23-year-old paramedical student was gang-raped when the two boarded a bus around 9pm in Munirka after watching a movie.

Today, the friend said they had been lured into boarding the private bus. “The bus occupants had everything planned. Apart from the driver and helper, others behaved like they were passengers. We even paid Rs 20 as fare. Then they started teasing my friend and the same led to a brawl. I beat three of them up but then the rest of them brought an iron rod and hit me. Before I fell unconscious, they took my friend away,” he told the channel.