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"I beat up three of them but then the rest brought an iron rod and hit me. Before I fell unconscious, they took my friend away."
Companion of Indian gang-rape victim
|Noah Seelam/AFP/;Getty Images|
He is 28 years of age, and remains anonymous by preference. And he has been talking to the news media. Much to the chagrin, no doubt of the government. And what he has been saying has been strenuously denied as having any basis in fact by the first-responders whom this young man is describing as having failed in their humanitarian social responsibilities and professional duties.
He spoke to Hindi television channel Zee News, telling them that the bus which had curtains and tinted windows was used by five men who had planned their crime; they were prepared to abduct and rape the first woman that came along, while they pretended to be passengers on the bus to forestall suspicion and create the appearance of a normal environment.
The woman that the young man was with, the 23-year-old medical student who was so passionate about her future profession and her studies and whose life was so horrendously cut short by enthusiastic practitioners of a virally misogynistic society, was repeatedly raped as the bus drove for hours, and her internal organs destroyed by the twisted insertion of a rusted rod by her rapists.
"From where we boarded the bus, they moved around for nearly two and a half hours. We were shouting, trying to make people hear us. But they switched off the lights." Their mobile phones were taken, their clothing stripped from them, and they were dumped at the side of the road. The rapists attempted to run over their bodies but the young man took evasive action and pulled his friend to safety.
He described how auto-rickshaws, cars and bicycles slowed as their drivers and riders saw them, then preferred to pass, no one stopped for twenty-five minutes of hell. "Nobody from the public helped us. People were probably afraid that if they helped us they would become a witness to the crime and be asked to come to police stations and courts."
Three police vans finally did arrive while officers argued which police station was responsible, as the two injured young people lay naked on the road. In the end, it took two hours before they were taken to a hospital, not one that was located nearby, but another, more distant one. "My friend was bleeding profusely. But instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, they took us to a faraway hospital."
Once at the hospital, staff there held back from helping. Finally he borrowed a phone from a stranger. Doctors finally responded and medical treatment only began once his relatives arrived at the hospital. "Even at the hospital we were made to wait and I had to literally beg for clothes."
None of this first-hand, victim accounting really transpired, however, according to police and everyone else involved in this shamefully squalid response to an urgent tragedy.
Indian protesters demand tougher laws to punish rapists. They insist there must be an end to unreported rapes, to police officers failing to pursue cases.