Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Delhi gang-rape: victim's friend, also on bus, gives statement in court

Delhi gang-rape: victim's friend, also on bus, gives statement in court
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Dec 19 (CMC) The young man who was attacked by a group of drunk and leering men who then raped his friend in a bus in Delhi shared his version of what happened in a Delhi court this evening.

"My son is totally in shock, he is finding it tough to overcome the trauma," his father said. "I will ask my son to leave Delhi. I am grateful to God that he survived. We will cooperate with police and the legal trial but won't stay here in Delhi," he said.

On Sunday night, his son and his friend, both from Uttar Pradesh, boarded a bus after watching a movie. The six men began harassing the girl. He tried to stop them. They turned on him with an iron rod, striking his head over and over. She then tried to rescue him. 

Furious, the six men began hitting her. Then they took turns raping her while one of them kept the bus circling on South Delhi's roads. The tinted windows of the privately-owned bus concealed the horror unfolding within.

She is on ventilator support in hospital, fighting for her life. He has been helping the police with its investigation, and is likely to help at an identification parade tomorrow at Delhi's Tihar Jail.

Two of the six men accused of attempted murder and rape are still missing. Of the other four, one has agreed to participate in the identification parade. 

The unimaginable contours of the crime and the plight of the woman , now struggling to survive, has outraged Delhi, a city where women are used to fending for themselves.

Parliament has demanded an exigent course correction for the sort of protection available in Delhi for women. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has said that in addition to asking for daily court hearings and a fast-track trial in this case, effective immediately, more police teams will patrol the streets of Delhi at night. Vehicles with groups of men will be screened and searched. Buses are being asked to drive at night with their interior lights switched on. 

Vehicles with tinted windows will be impounded immediately, he said.

But what many parliamentarians want is stricter punishment for rapes, where the conviction rate is startling low. Sushma Swaraj, leader of the opposition, wants the death penalty for rapists. Mr Shinde said a proposal to introduce more severe penalties including life imprisonment for sexual crimes has been introduced in the Lok Sabha.

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