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

Fri Jan 4, 2013 3:53pm EST
 
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By Frank Jack Daniel and Satarupa Bhattacharjya

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.   Continued...