They were lured onto a bus, mercilessly attacked, assaulted and then left for dead on a busy south Delhi road — shivering and devoid of their clothes — before finally losing consciousness at the end of the most horrific crime to ever have been reported from the Capital.
A week after she succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Singapore, the friend of the 23-year-old physiotherapist who was accompanying her on the fateful night, finally broke his silence in an interview to a news channel on Friday evening.
"I can't tell you how brutal it was. I can only say that things like this can be done only to someone who is dead. How can someone assault a person in the matter they did when there's still life left in the person? Even after all that torture, they wanted to run us over, to kill us," he said.
"She wanted them to be burnt alive as punishment," he added.
Apathy at every step
"There were three PCR vans which reached us and saw us - like the many people who were just standing there. But they kept fighting over jurisdiction. We reached the hospital two and a half hours later and no one even offered us a blanket," he claimed.
"I had to stay and sleep at the Vasant Vihar Police Station for four days on a stretcher. They didn't think I needed any medical help or attention even though I had a fracture."
While the police, he claimed, wanted a pat on the back for doing their job, the government seemed to have been acting as per a script.
"If she had been admitted to a 'good' hospital from the start, she would have survived. There was always some kind of pressure," he said.
"She had given her statement in so much pain - the first time her statement had been recorded by the woman magistrate. The next morning the magistrate got her statement discredited."
The police, he said, need to be sensitised, especially when it comes to the common man.
"Despite all the outrage, nothing seems to have changed. Such cases keep getting reported on a daily basis."
He added, "The reason why protesters acted the way they did was because they felt that had the rage and aggression not been there, they wouldn't have been heard," he said he believed.
"The only change that I would want, that I think she would have wanted is that the next time you see someone who needs your help - please step forward and do so. Help them. If someone had helped us that night, she might have still been alive."
PCR response based on GPS system
10:22 pm: PCR call was made.
10:24 pm: Call on wireless.
10:26 pm: PCR van stationed at Radisson reached spot.
10:28 pm: Another van reached.
10:31 pm: Victim removed.
10:55 pm: PCR van reached.
Case against Zee News
The police decided to register a case against Zee News for airing the interview.
The case will be filed under Section 228 (A) of IPC, which pertains to disclosure of identity of victim of certain offences, including rape, police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told PTI.