Five days after she was assaulted and gang-raped by six men, the 23-year old physiotherapy intern was battling for life at Safdarjung hospital’s Intensive Care unit. Protests and prayers were going on for the victim of Delhi’s December 16 gang rape.
“She is a fighter,” a senior officer had then quoted one of the doctors attending her. She was dying, the doctor’s knew it but even in those moments of excruciating pain, she told her mother that she wanted to live. She told her she would record her statement – her version of the horrific events that December evening.
The statement was recorded by a sub divisional magistrate on December 21. It was among the most crucial evidence that sealed the fate of the accused. On Friday, the Supreme Court upheld the dying declaration despite objections and questions raised by the defence lawyer, and upheld the death sentence to the four convicts.
While recording her statement at the Safdarjung ICU, she was alone with the magistrate. She answered all the questions. The magistrate noted every detail. At 9 pm, the Delhi braveheart signed it.
She died on December 29 at a Singapore hospital.
Here is her dying declaration from the case files.
What is your name, your father’s name and address?
Delhi brave heart – My name is XYZ, father name is XYZ and we live in XYZ
Do you study or do you work?
I recently completed Bachelor of Physiotherapy.
When and where did the incident take place?
It happened on December 16, 2012 between 9 and 9.15 pm
Where did you go that day and how did you reach the crime spot?
I went out with my friend to the Select City Walk Mall to watch Life of Pi between 6 and 8.30 pm. From there we took an autorickshaw to Munirka
How did you go from there?
I saw a white bus. The conductor(later identified as the juvenile convict) was seeking passengers for Dwarka. I had to go to Dwarka Sector 1. We paid ten rupees each as fare.
How many people were there in the bus?
When I boarded the bus, I saw 6-7 persons inside.
What happened inside the bus? Tell us in detail.
When the bus reached Malay Mandir, the conductor closed the door. They switched off the light. They started abusing my friend. I stopped him. They took me to the back of the bus. They raped me. They assaulted me. They bit me and hit me with an iron rod. They took my friends’ mobile phone, wallet and credit card. They were six of them. They even took out my intestines. Those six men raped me for about an hour.
Did the bus stop anywhere?
Did anyone call 100 (police control room number) or did you shout on seeing a police picket?
They had taken our cellphones when the scuffle started. We could not call for help. My friend and I shouted inside the bus but nobody heard our cries.
During the incident, did you hear them talk? Did they take names? What did they look like?
During the whole incident, I heard them say, “Stop. Hold her. Take her back.” They abused me. They shouted names like Ram Singh, Thakur, Mukesh, Raju, Pawan, Vinay. It was dark so they all looked the same. From their appearance and their way of speaking, it looked they were illiterate drivers, conductors.
Were you conscious the whole time? Were you aware what was happening?
I was awake and conscious but fainted later. They were kicking and punching me. When my friend tried to protect me, they beat him with an iron rod.
What happened after that?
They had removed my friend’s clothes too. We were thrown off the bus. We were on the side of a road, when someone saw us and called the police control room.
What do you wish for those men who did this to you?
They should be hanged until death so that they are not able to do such a thing to anyone else. Or they should be burned alive. I am giving this statement before a magistrate without any force or coercion.
Signed: December 21, 9pm, Safdarjung ICU