Exclusive: A juvenile's 'confession' - youngest suspect in the Indian gang rape trial prepares for court

Teenager claimed to be among the most savage of the attackers, makes disturbing confession statement to police

The teenager accused in the Delhi rape case was told “let’s go and have some fun today” as he and five others embarked on a bus ride around the city that allegedly ended with the lethal assault on a young student and her male companion.

According to an interrogation report compiled by Delhi police and seen by The Independent, the 17-year-old told investigators that on 16 December last year, the main accused in the case, bus driver Ram Singh, had been asked by his employer to fill his vehicle with fuel. Instead, with Mr Singh’s brother, Mukesh, driving the bus, they set off on a night of violence in which the 23-year-old woman was repeatedly raped and her friend, Awindra Pandey, beaten with iron bars. Having concluded the assault and presuming the pair might be dead, another of the accused, Akshay Thakur, had said: “Let’s throw them under the bus.” The teenager told police that the pair were then thrown out of the moving vehicle.

In the aftermath of the attack on the student, who died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital, few aspects of the case have sparked more debate within India than the alleged role of the teenager – and what should happen to him if he is convicted.

According to Indian law, he is to be treated as a juvenile and can face a maximum of just three years’ detention. Yet many people, among them the family of the victim, have demanded that he face the death penalty. “The juvenile should be punished first,” the father of the dead woman recently told the India’s Economic Times newspaper.

The teenager is due to return to a juvenile court in Delhi for another hearing. Some of the fury has been roused by claims in the Indian media that he was among the most savage of the attackers and that he internally assaulted the woman with an iron bar. Yet his confession statement, and that of Ram Singh, does not necessarily support that claim. The statement makes for disturbing reading. It details how the men lured the student and Mr Pandey aboard the bus and charged them 10 rupees (11p) to make them believe everything was normal. After a while, Ram Singh asked Mr Pandey where he was going. “What’s it got to got to do with you?” he replied.

“Ram Singh slapped the boy and the boy pushed Ram Singh away,” said the juvenile, who cannot be named for legal reasons. “Everyone began kicking and punching the boy.”

In his statement, the teenager said Ram Singh subdued Mr Pandey by hitting him repeatedly with an iron bar about the head. “Then Ram Singh was the first one to rape the girl,” he said. “The girl kept screaming and howling but, in the moving bus, everybody raped her one by one. And they bit the girl on different parts of her body.”

After throwing the pair from the bus, the juvenile then explained how they washed the vehicle and then divided up the possession they had taken from the couple and from another man they had robbed earlier in the evening. “I got one mobile and 1,100 rupees from the looted goods,” he said. “[Ram Singh] gave me one ATM card and asked me to keep it safe, [saying] ‘We will use it later to take out money’.”

The 17-year-old grew up in a village near Islamnagar in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In an interview last month, his mother said she had dispatched him to work in Delhi when his was 11 years old. The teenager is the oldest of six children from a desperately poor family. The boy’s father suffers mental health problems and cannot work and the two girls, aged 11 and 13, who earn around 50 rupees a day, are now the family’s main source of income.

The teenager told police that when he arrived in Delhi he worked as a helper in a series of roadside eateries in the east of the city. He later found work at a dairy and then washing buses for a company for which Ram Singh, 32, was also employed. That was how the two men became friends. It was Ram Singh who had said to the juvenile, “Let’s go and have some fun.”

The five men accused in the case, Ram and Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta, have all pleaded not guilty to charges of gang-rape and murder. If convicted they could face the death penalty. Charges against the juvenile have not yet been formally drawn up. A member of the juvenile’s legal team, who asked not to be identified, said the 17-year-old had been troubled by watching television programmes focusing on the public anger towards him. “The boy is traumatised,” said the lawyer. “When he gets before the magistrate he will say whether or not he is guilty.”

Asked about the juvenile’s apparent confession, the lawyer claimed police routinely fabricated statements in order to make sure individuals were booked by the courts. “Once the case comes before the courts, the confession has no value in law. In 100 per cent of cases you will find the police extract a confession to ensure the case is registered,” the lawyer said. A spokesman for Delhi police could not be reached.

The trial of the five men is being held in a fast-track court in Delhi where up to 80 witnesses are expected to give evidence. The first to appear was the student’s male friend, Mr Pandey, 28, who recently spent two days giving evidence. Still suffering from injuries received in the assault, he was pushed from the courtroom in a wheelchair to identify the white bus on which the attack is said to have taken place.

Judge urged to bar media from courtroom

Police have urged a judge to continue to ensure media are barred from covering the case.

After Yogesh Khanna, the judge who is hearing the rape case, ruled that the trial should be held in camera and warned lawyers not to brief the media, journalists filed an appeal with the Delhi high court. They argued the media should be allowed access to the proceedings. But on Wednesday, Dayan Krishnan, a lawyer representing the Delhi police, opposed the request. Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked Mr Krishnan whether accredited journalists could be allowed to cover the court proceedings. The lawyer said no.

The case was adjourned until 28 February.

Andrew Buncombe

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

EBD Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Science Teacher Greater Manchester

Humanities Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Humanities teacher required for ...

English Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: ENGLISH TEACHER REQUIRED - Humbe...

Chemistry Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: We are looking for a Qualified C...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits