‘Nobody helped us for almost an hour’

2013-01-06 10:00

Indian rape victim’s friend recounts the horrific ordeal.

Passersby left a gang-raped Indian student lying unclothed and bleeding in the street for almost an hour, a male friend who was assaulted with her said on Friday in his first public comments on the case that has provoked a global outcry.

The 23-year-old student died in hospital two weeks after she was attacked on December 16 in a private bus in New Delhi.

The incident prompted street protests over the Indian authorities’ failure to stem rampant violence against women.

The graphic account from the man in a television interview is likely to add fuel to public anger over the death in a country where official statistics show that one rape is reported every 20 minutes.

The woman’s friend told the Zee News television network he was beaten unconscious with a metal bar by her attackers before the pair were thrown off the bus.

They lay in the street for 45 minutes before a police van arrived and officers then spent a long time arguing about where to take them, the man said.

“We kept shouting at the police, ‘please give us some clothes’ but they were busy deciding which police station our case should be registered at,” the man reported, speaking in Hindi.

Delhi police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat commented that GPS records show the first police van reached the scene about four minutes after it had been called.

It took the man and the woman to hospital within 24 minutes, he claimed.

Neither the woman nor her friend has been named.

Five men were charged with her gang rape and murder on Thursday.

A court was due to consider the charges yesterday.

The man’s comments caused an renewed outpouring of anger on Twitter.

“After reading and watching the Zee News interview i’m absolutely shocked and ashamed of being an Indian,” said @BarunKiBilli.

The man called for the protests to continue, but said he wished people had come to his friend’s help when she needed it.

“You have to help people on the road when they call for help,” he said.

The male friend said he and the woman were attacked after an evening out to watch a film.

“From where we boarded the bus, they (the attackers) moved around for nearly two- and-a-half hours.

“We were shouting, trying to make people listen to us.

“But they switched off the lights of the bus,” he said, according to a transcript of the interview.

When they were thrown out, they pleaded with passersby for help, he added in the studio interview, a blue metal crutch leaning against his chair.

“There were a few people who had gathered around but nobody helped.

“Before the police came I screamed for help but the auto rickshaws, the cars and pedestrians who were passing by did nothing and did not stop to help,” the man added – Reuters

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