Companion of India gang-rape victim identifies bus
The companion of an Indian medical student who died after being gang-raped identified Tuesday the bus on which the attack took place as he testified in the trial of five adults accused of her murder.
The 28-year-old, confined to a wheelchair as a result of injuries sustained in the attack, confirmed that a white bus was the vehicle on which the deadly assault took place on December 16, his father told AFP.
"Yes, my son could identify the bus. The cross-examination is going to start now," said the father, whose son cannot be named for legal reasons.
Although proceedings are subject to a gagging order, police allowed reporters to see the young man being taken in the company of lawyers and the judge to the bus which has been parked in the court compound.
No photographs were allowed.
He then returned inside the courtroom where he was expected to be cross-examined by lawyers for the five adult accused, who have all denied murder, rape and robbery charges.
A sixth defendant is being tried separately as a juvenile.
"My son will go to any lengths to ensure that the guilty are punished," the father had earlier told AFP as the two of them entered the courtroom in the Saket district.
"He will cooperate and is prepared to answer any questions posed by the defence."
The 23-year-old medical student died in a Singapore hospital on December 29 from massive internal injuries she sustained during the savage bus assault a fortnight earlier which caused outrage across India.
She and her companion had spent the evening at the cinema and were lured onto the off-duty bus after failing to flag down an autorickshaw to take them home.
As well as taking turns to rape the woman and violating her with a rusty iron bar, the group attacked her companion so badly that he is still unable to walk properly.
He is the main witness in a case that is being held in a special fast-track court.
The judge has banned all reporting of proceedings inside the courtroom and ordered lawyers not to speak to journalists.
Meanwhile the father of the student spoke of the toll that the case had taken on him and reiterated his desire to see his daughter's killers hanged as he appeared at a press conference.
"I don't read newspapers or watch TV. I only want that all the six people should be hanged," he said.
"I have not been able to sleep for three days. I am running fever. I have pain in the legs."
The father was speaking at a press conference organised by local leaders of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party who want to name a new science museum in Delhi after her.
"We will do everything that will give respect and dignity to her memory. We want her to become a symbol of change in the society," the BJP leader in Delhi Vijender Gupta said at the press conference.