Rape victim's friend speaks on TV, case filed against Zee



New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) Breaking his silence for the first time since the horrific Dec 16 gang-rape, the victim's friend said he wished he could have saved the 23-year-old woman and blamed police for delaying taking them to hospital for over two hours.

"I wish I could have saved her," the young man, who Delhi Police have said is a 28-year-old software engineer, told Zee News in an exclusive interview.

The channel identified him as Avaindra Pratap Pandey.

Delhi Police has filed a case against Zee News for revealing the identity of the rape victim by carrying the interview of her friend.

"A case under Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code was filed against Zee News at police station Vasant Vihar," said Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat

Section 228A (Disclosure of identity of the victim of certain offences etc) lays penalty of a jail term extending to two years for those who "print or publish the name or any matter which may make known the identity" of any rape victim.

Zee TV since Friday night started running a scroll saying the young man agreed to reveal his identity voluntarily. The channel said they will give whatever the man said to the Justice J.S. Verma panel which is looking into strengthening anti-rape laws.

The young man told the channel that no one came forward to help them after they were dumped on the roadside after the more than 40-minute ordeal, stripped, and bloodied.

"We were lying in the cold night for 20 minutes. We had no clothes. Many cars and auto-rickshaws came and passed by us but no one stopped to offer us help... even though I was crying for help," he said.

He also blamed police and hospital authorities.

"Three PCR (Police Control Room vans) came and they left. In the hospital, no one even thought of giving us a quilt," he added.

He told Zee that the three PCR vans arrived at the scene after about 45 minutes, but wasted time in deciding under which police station's jurisdiction the case fell.

He said nobody, including 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 bed sheet to cover his friend.

"My friend was bleeding profusely. But instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, they (police) took us to a hospital that was far away."

He told the channel that he carried his badly-injured friend to the PCR van on his own as the policemen didn't help them because the girl was bleeding profusely.

"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 police stations and courts," he told the channel.

"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 also said the rapists tried to "crush" them under the wheels of the bus.

"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. 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 patrol, stopped and called the police," he told Zee News.

The young woman was tortured and gang-raped by six men in the moving bus on Dec 16. She was stripped, robbed and then thrown off the bus on the roadside alongwith her friend on the cold December night.

She was taken to a Singapore hospital where she died Dec 29. She was quietly cremated on Dec 30. All the six men, including a juvenille, are now in police custody.

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