Outrage as boyfriend of Delhi rape victim speaks
By Adam Plowright ,AFPNEW DELHI -- Claims of police incompetence and public apathy stirred fresh outrage on Saturday in the case of a New Delhi gang-rape victim after her boyfriend recounted witnessing the horrific crime for the first time.
January 6, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The man was also badly injured as he tried to prevent the assault on a moving bus on Dec. 16 which has stirred violent protests and a bout of soul-searching about the treatment of women and rising sex crime in India.
Speaking to AFP and an Indian news channel, the boyfriend said passers-by ignored the naked and bloodied couple for 30 minutes after they were thrown out of the bus and police then wasted more time arguing over who had jurisdiction.
“A passer-by found us (after the attack), but he did not even give my friend his jacket,” he told AFP in the interview which also raised questions about the medical treatment given to the woman at a government hospital.
The claims came as a trial of five suspects started in a district court in south Delhi where the accused have been ordered to appear together for the first time on Monday.
In addition to rape, kidnap and robbery, they face a murder charge and possibly the death penalty after the 23-year-old victim died last weekend from her horrific injuries, including internal wounds caused by an iron bar.
“The cruelty I saw should not be seen ever,” the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told AFP of the savagery of the assault which started after the couple were lured onto the bus after watching a film together.
Speaking to the Hindi-language Zee News channel, he said it took 90 minutes for the injured pair to reach hospital because passers-by ignored their pleas for help, and police were late to arrive and then needlessly delayed.
“They could have taken us to hospital, given us clothes in that crucial one-and-a-half hours. For a dying person every minute is important,” he told the channel.
Facing angry criticism on the streets, where protests have raged over the last three weeks against the lack of safety in the Indian capital, the police issued a hasty rebuttal.
A senior officer from the area where they were found, Vivek Gogia, told a press conference computer logs showed the police were on the scene six minutes after receiving a distress call and the couple were in hospital 28 minutes later.
“This is not the time to engage in arguments,” he added.