"Nobody helped us for an hour:" Indian rape witness

NEW DELHI Fri Jan 4, 2013 5:05pm EST

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Passers-by 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 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, prompting 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 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 said in Hindi.

Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told Reuters GPS records show the first police van reached the scene four minutes after it was were called and took the man and the woman to hospital within 24 minutes.

Neither the woman nor her friend have been named. Five men were charged with her gang rape and murder on Thursday. A court is due to consider the charges on Saturday.

TWITTER ANGER

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 on 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 need help."

The male friend said he and the woman were attacked after an evening out watching 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 hear 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 passers-by for help, he added in the studio interview, a blue metal crutch leaning on his chair.

"There were a few people who had gathered round but nobody helped. Before the police came I screamed for help but the auto rickshaws, cars and others passing by did not stop," the man added.

(Reporting By Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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Comments (3)
RadhaVyas wrote:
It pains me each time I read this …, how callous we Indians are towards crime and the victims …, I had been aware of the crimes perpetrated against girls and women since my childhood. In fact in a small town Visakhapatnam, when I look back I was subject to eve teasing when I was 12 to 19 years. I am glad I am a middle aged woman, but each time I visit India, I observed that the parents are more protective of their children especially daughters, they never let them out of their sight, even walking or riding them to schools and colleges. And way back in 1970s I used to read about the girls being kidnapped from Nepal and sold to brothels in Mumbai, then Bombay. Now that the youth has awakened, hopefully the girls and the women in the whole of India will be safe, Kashmir, Haryana, Northwest, New Delhi …, and everywhere …,

Jan 04, 2013 3:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
julri wrote:
I just don’t know which is the worse part of this whole horrible and disgusting act.
the fact of the vile rape since “she was out after dark and deserved it”. The inhuman impalement of her privates with a steel bar after the fact or the fact that no one on the street offered any help. Just tragic and horrible. Makes me sick to think of the things we humans can do.

Jan 04, 2013 4:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mike_weston wrote:
@julri Sadly thats not even the worst of it. There are now reports that the most violent member of the rapists was also the youngest and ripped the intestines of the victim out with his hands. Just the sheer brutality of the whole thing is enough to make me sick. How could any human being do something this vicious to another is beyond me.

Jan 04, 2013 4:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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