Friend of Indian rape victim criticizes police response
On Sunday, I shared with you the harrowing story of two Indian girls who died after being brutally gang-raped. One girl swallowed poison and the other died from injuries sustained from the brutal attack. A friend of the second girl, who was raped as well, is sharing the dark story of what happened that day.
The man and his female companion boarded a bus after watching a film. They were a bit uncomfortable with the tinted windows and curtains on the charter bus, but boarded it because they were running late. Once inside, he said, the couple each paid a 30-cent fare. The other men on the bus initially acted as if they were normal passengers. But then they started taunting the woman with lewd comments. The man said a brawl ensued, with the accused beating the couple with an iron rod that police and doctors said was used in the sexual assault.
He says: “from where we boarded the bus, they moved around for nearly 2½ hours. We were shouting, trying to make people hear us. But they switched off the lights. We tried to resist them. Even my friend fought with them, she tried to save me. The man said their calls for help were ignored. “Several auto rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but no one stopped for about 25 minutes. Nobody from the public helped us. People were probably afraid that if they help us they would become witness to the crime and would be asked to come to police stations and courts,” he said.
About 45 minutes after being dumped on the road, three police vans arrived but the officers then argued over which station should deal with the couple. It took at least two hours from the time they were thrown off the bus to the time they reached a hospital. “My friend was bleeding profusely,” the man said. “But instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, they took us to a faraway hospital.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that the description is at odds with the police’s recounting of the incident and is likely to further fuel public anger over what many see as poor policing and ineffectual rape laws. Activists say male police often try to dissuade rape victims from registering cases, and sometimes steer them to marry the men who raped them. The girl who swallowed poison had accused police of not only stalling legal actions against the assailants, but vigorously telling her to instead marry one of them!
The WSJ also reports that the bus driver and five others have been accused of assaulting the pair and raping the woman for over an hour before dumping them, naked, on a highway. The six also face murder charges, following the death of the woman on Dec. 29. The accused don’t have legal representation and have made no public statements.
I hope these deranged people are punished.
Do you think bystanders should have a legal obligation if not an already moral one to interject or seek assistance in violent situations?
I think they do.
* WSJ article (article that I used for this post)
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate