Breaking his silence, the male friend of the Delhi gangrape victim tonight severely criticised the Delhi Police for its tardy response and bemoaned public apathy after both of them had been badly injured and thrown out of the bus after she was gangraped by six men
in an exclusive interview to Zee News telecast tonight.'Laid a Trap'
He told Zee News
that the six accused had lured them into boarding the bus on the night of December 16.
“The occupants of the bus, which had tinted windows and curtains, had laid a trap for us. They were probably involved in crimes before also. They beat us up, hit us with an iron rod, snatched our clothes and belongings and threw us off the bus on a deserted stretch.
“The bus occupants had everything planned. Apart from the driver and the helper, others behaved like they were passengers. We even paid Rs 20 as fare. They then started teasing my friend and it 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.
“From where we boarded the bus, they moved around for nearly two and a half hours. We were shouting, trying to make people hear us. But they switched off the lights of the bus. We tried to resist them. Even my friend fought with them, she tried to save me. She tried to dial the police control room number 100, but the accused snatched her mobile away.
“Before throwing us off the bus, they snatched our mobiles and tore off our clothes in order to destroy any evidence of the crime.
“After throwing us off the bus, they tried to mow us down but I saved my friend by pulling her away in the nick of time. 'They were just watching us'
We were without clothes. We tried to stop passersby. Several auto
rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but none stopped for about 25
minutes. Then, someone on patrolling, stopped and called the police.
Contradicting the police claims that they acted swiftly after being informed, he said three Police Control Room (PCR) vans arrived at the scene only after about 45 minutes and wasted time in deciding under which police station's jurisdiction the case fell. They did not bother giving them clothes to cover themselves up or taking them to a hospital.No one gave them clothes or called an ambulance. There were some 20 people there. “They were just
watching us,” he said, adding that after repeated requests, someone gave
him a part of a bed sheet to cover his friend.
“My friend was bleeding profusely; I was more concerned about her. But
instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, they (police) took us to a
hospital (Safdarjung) that was far away.
"I carried my badly injured friend to the
PCR van on my own as the policemen didn’t help us because my friend
girl was bleeding profusely and they were probably worried about their
“Nobody from the public helped us. People were probably afraid that if
they helped us, they would become witnesses to the crime and would be
asked to come to the police station and court”
“Even at the hospital, we were made to wait and I had to literally beg
for clothes. I asked one ‘safai karamchari’ to give me some clothes or
curtains and he asked me to wait. But the clothes never came. I then
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.
“I was hit on the head. I was not able to walk. I was not able to move
my hands for two weeks,” he said, detailing the injuries he suffered on
that horrific night.
“My family wanted to take
me to our native place but I decided to stay in Delhi in order to help
the police. It was only after the doctors’ advice that I went back to my
home and started private treatment there.”
Her First Statement Was Correct
Talking about his friend, he provided a detailed account of her response and state of mind and that her immediate concern then was the cost of treatment:
Lighting Candles Not Enough
“When I had met my friend in the hospital, she was smiling. She was able
to write and was positive. I never felt that she did not want to live.
“She had told me that if I wasn’t there, she would not have filed the
complaint. I had decided that I would ensure the culprits are punished.
“When she gave the first
statement to the lady SDM, only then I came to know what had happened
with her. I couldn’t believe what they did to her. Even when animals
hunt, they don’t mete out such brutality to their prey.
“She faced all of this and told the magistrate that the accused should not be hanged but burnt to death.
“The first statement she gave to the SDM was correct. She had given that
statement with a lot of effort. She was coughing and bleeding while
giving the statement. She was on ventilator support.
"There was no
pressure or interference at all. But when the SDM said that she had
faced pressure, all her (friend’s) efforts went in vain. It is wrong to
say that the statement was made under pressure.
"I can't understand why the SDM said that this statement was given under pressure because my friend made a strenuous effort to give this statement, even ignoring the doctor's advice.
His anguish about the silent bystanders who did not step forward to help was palpable
when he said
that one cannot change mindsets by lighting candles.
“They (the people) had
cars, they could have taken us to the hospital. Every minute was
important for us. But they didn’t. Who will change this attitude?”
'The police should always try to ensure that the victims are taken to the hospital as early as possible and not waste precious time looking for government hospitals. Also, witnesses should not be harassed so that they come to the court to testify.
"You have to help people on the road when they need help,”
“Protest and change should not only be for her but for the coming generations as well.”
“I would like to tell Justice JS Verma, Justice Leila Seth and Gopal Subramanium that we have a lot of laws, but the public is afraid of going to police as they wonder whether the police will register an FIR or not. You are trying to start fast-track courts for one issue, but why shouldn’t every case be fast tracked?
“In our society, we try to hide
such things ... thinking what people will say. Our friends and relatives
talk behind our back about such incidents, so we try to prevent them
from becoming public.
“I often ask myself if I am to blame
for this? Why did I go to that mall? Why did I board that bus? I was
not able to even speak properly for two weeks.”
The braveheart's companion also felt that had she been “treated in a better hospital, she would have probably been alive today.” she was first taken to Safdarjang Hospital before being taken to Singapore.
"I never had thoughts of leaving her and running away. Even an animal would not do that. I have no regrets. But I wish I could have done something to help her."
“She has awakened us. If we can carry on this fight with her name, it would be tribute to her.
"We have a long battle to fight. If I didn't have lawyers in my family, I would not have been able to fight this.
Delhi Police Response
He went on to say that one of the police officials wanted him to say that the police were doing a good job in the case.
“Why did they want to take credit for doing their duty? If everyone does their work well, nothing more needs to be said in the matter.”
"I was in the police station for four days rather than being in a hospital where I would be treated. I told my friends that I had met with an accident."
"The internal judgement of the Delhi Police should prompt them to assess for themselves if they have done a good job or not"
"If you can help someone, help them. If a single person had helped me that night, things would have been different. There is no need to close Metro stations and stop the public from expressing themselves. People should be allowed to have faith in the system."
Meanwhile, in response, Delhi Police have registered a case against Zee News
at the Vasant Vihar police station for airing the interview with the male friend, who is lone witness o the crime.
The case was filed under Section 228 (A) of Indian Penal Code, which pertains to disclosure of identity of victim of certain offences, including rape, Delhi Police Spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said, though it remained unclear whether the identity was indeed revealed anywhere in the interview.
The 23-year-old medical student was gangraped and brutally assaulted when the the two boarded a bus around 9 PM Munirka area after watching a movie in a cinema hall on December 16.
The girl was later taken by a police patrol to a government hospital where she battled for life for several days before being flown to Singapore in an air ambulance for specialised treatment. However, she passed away on December 29.
The horrendous crime led to widespread public protests in several parts of the country and vocal demands for toughening laws against rape.
Police had chargesheeted five men, including the driver of the bus and his brother, in the case and accused them of various crimes like murder, attempt to murder, gangrape, kidnapping and unnatural offences.
The sixth accused is a juvenile as he is a little under 18 although he is to be subjected to a bone density test to verify his age. He will be tried by the Juvenile Justice Board if he is a minor.
With Zee news, video of the interview and PTI inputs