Renewed protests against public apathy and police incompetence erupted in India Saturday after the boyfriend of the New Delhi gang rape victim recounted witnessing the gruesome crime. Police are refuting his claims.
The male companion of the Indian woman who died last week from her injuries sustained in the attack told the French news agency and India's Zee TV Friday that it took 25 minutes for anyone to stop and help him and his friend after they were dumped naked and bleeding on the side of the road.
The man, whose identity is being withheld for legal purposes, also said that when the police arrived, they spent time arguing about who had jurisdiction over the crime and took the couple to a hospital that was not the closest one available.
The Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police, Vivel Gogia, defended the speed of the police response, telling reporters Saturday that police took less than 30 minutes to get the couple to the hospital after the distress call.
"These findings have been ascertained through the logs generated by the multi-computer configuration global positioning system," said Gogia.
The deputy leader of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Ravi Shankar Prasad, condemned the police Saturday for their alleged delay.
"The BJP would like to know as to what kind of teachings and training the government of India has given to its police in Delhi. Saving the life of critically injured people is more important or fighting over jurisdiction is more important?" said Prasad.
Indian authorities have charged five men with murder, rape, kidnapping and other charges in the December 16 attack.
Officials say they will push for the death penalty if the men are convicted. A sixth suspect is under 18 and will be tried separately in a juvenile court.
The two victims were both beaten with a rod on the bus. The woman was raped, and a rod was used in the rape.
The unidentified woman died last Saturday in a hospital in Singapore, where she had been taken for treatment. Her father has backed calls to hang the men charged if they are convicted.
The Zee interview marked the first time the man, who has not been named, has spoken publicly about the December 16 attack.
Indian police also said Saturday they have filed a case against Zee TV because the interview could lead to the identification of the rape victim, breaking a law entitling her to anonymity.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has urged Indian officials to refrain from pressing the charges against Zee. Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator said "authorities are hardly protecting the victim's rights by retaliating against news media that are bringing to light details of the horrific crime."
India has set up a so-called "fast-track" court to try the men accused of the crimes. The fast-track court is one of five being set up in New Delhi, known by some as the "rape capital" of India. The courts will hear cases of sexual assault and other crimes against women in an effort to bypass India's overwhelmed regular court system, where cases can often take many years to be resolved.