iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 14, 2013
The gang-rape victim’s male friend, who was assaulted by the four men on the night of December 16 as they raped the 23-year-old, did not turn up at Saket court to witness the judgment being pronounced on Friday.
He, however, later told HT that the verdict would help the victim’s soul rest in peace as well as increase people’s faith in the police and judiciary.

The sole eyewitness of the brutal rape, he said he was happy with the court’s decision and had reasons to be satisfied.

“My friend’s soul will now rest in peace. We have won the first battle but the ultimate victory will come only when the convicts are hanged. It was not my individual fight but a fight of all the people, so the verdict is not only my win but a win for all those who fought for justice,” said the male friend, adding the battle would continue if the accused approached the higher courts.

“The fight is not over. And I am ready if they (accused) move higher courts. Being the complainant and the sole eyewitness, it is my responsibility to pursue the case further,” said the friend of 23-year-old physiotherapist.

Asked if he has talked to the girl’s family,  he claimed that he talked to the girl’s parents over the phone and assured them that he would be with them whenever required.

‘My son is innocent’

“Are you media people happy now? You finally got what you wanted. My son will hang to death soon. It’s because of you people. You misrepresented facts, spun tales about his involvement. He wasn’t even friends with Ram and Mukesh and accidentally tagged along with them that day. When the police came looking, he swore to me he hadn’t done anything wrong,” said Vinay Gupta’s mother.