The friend of the Delhi gang-rape victim identified the bus in which the trainee physiotherapist was sexually brutalised as the trial in the case that shook the country opened Tuesday.
Still nursing the injuries suffered at the hands of the six accused who he tried to fight off on the night of December 16, the 28-year-old man arrived at the Saket courts complex at around 11am in a wheelchair to record his statement.
As the proceedings were on, the victim’s father addressed a press conference and said he didn’t want his daughter to remain anonymous. “I want the world to know her name. She has awakened the nation’s consciousness.” The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to name a science museum in RK Puram after her.
"She is the daughter of the nation, not a victim," said the 53-year-old, who has given the civic body a letter allowing it to name a school/community
centre/road after the young woman.
With his elder son by his side, the man demanded death penalty for all the six accused.
Five men — Vinay Sharma, Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Kumar — are being tried by the special fast-track for gang rape and murder.
They face death if found guilty.
The sixth accused, declared a minor, is being tried by a juvenile justice board.
If convicted, he will spend a maximum of three years in a reformatory.
"This should be dealt as a special case and he should also receive the maximum punishment like the others," the brother told mediapersons.
At the court, the girl's friend, who gave a detailed interview to a news channel few days after the incident, refused to speak to the media.
During post-noon proceedings, the grim-looking software engineer, who quit his job to prepare for the civil service exam, was escorted by policemen to identify the bus, parked outside the court, in which the young woman was raped and savagely assaulted.
HT can't report the proceedings because of a media gag on the closed-door trial.
In his statement to the police after the incident, he had said the accused taunted the young woman, implying that "only prostitutes travelled with men at the time that they were travelling in", a police officer told HT.
The couple were returning from a film show in a multiplex, which is opposite to the court where the case is being tried, when they boarded a chartered bus. The six men assaulted the couple, raped the woman and then threw them off the moving bus.
After bravely fighting her injuries for 12 days, the woman died of multi-organ failure in a Singapore hospital on December 29.