India: Male friend of gang-rape victim breaks silence over murder

Witness alleged that he was ordered by police to say that they were doing a good job in the case

The man who was beaten in the savage assault that ultimately killed a 23-year-old female student claimed last night that it took police two hours to take them to hospital after they were abandoned by their attackers.

The only witness in the gang-rape case that has shocked India said that he and his companion were driven around Delhi for two-and-a-half hours on a bus with its lights turned off. The pair were beaten with metal bars before being left by the roadside. 

He suggested the attackers had “laid a trap for us” and said: “Apart from the driver and the helper, [the] other [attackers] behaved like they were passengers. We even paid 20 rupees as a 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.

“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. We were without clothes. We tried to stop passers-by. Several auto-rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but none stopped for about 25 minutes. My friend was bleeding profusely. But instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, [the police] took us to a hospital that was far away. Even [there] we were made to wait and I had to literally beg for clothes.”

The woman eventually died in a hospital in Singapore after being flown there for treatment from Delhi. On Thursday, five men were charged with gang-rape and murder, offences that could carry the death penalty. A sixth male allegedly involved in the attack has at this stage been judged to be a juvenile and is scheduled to be dealt with by a different court, despite demands from the victim’s family that he too should face execution. The five older men are due to be brought before a specially established fast-track court today.

The victim’s friend, speaking to India’s Zee News, alleged that he was also ordered by police to  say that they 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,” he said.

“When I had met my friend in the hospital, she was smiling. I never felt that she did not want to live.”

He said he only discovered the full extent of the attack on her when she gave a statement: “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.”

He hopes the death of the woman will spark change in India: “People should be allowed to have faith in the system. She has awakened us. If we can carry on this fight with her name, it would be tribute to her.”

The news came as  details emerged from the state of Bihar about a woman who was in a critical condition after jumping from a train after allegedly being molested by a paramilitary soldier. The 25-year-old from Darjeeling was travelling to Delhi on Thursday when the man tried to molest her. She is currently being treated in a hospital in the city of Patna. A member of the Assam Rifles paramilitary force has been detained and charged charged over the incident.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
This weekend's 'Big Hero 6' by Disney Animation Studios
arts + ents
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Austen Lloyd: In-House Solicitor / Company Secretary - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee