“For me, I lost a friend... The guilt will always remain,” said the 28-year-old about the gang rape on December 16.
“She was cool, funny, mischievous had a great presence of mind. She could make anyone smile and maybe that is the reason why every Indian was angry and sad when she died,” he said. He had visited his friend twice at a Delhi hospital before she was airlifted to Singapore by the government for further treatment.
“She was in enormous pain but wanted to talk to me and her family. She would recall the incident and get very angry... We would quickly change the subject.”
He was the first of up to 80 witnesses to reveal before the court what he had experienced and seen on December 16. The pair had spent the Sunday evening watching Life of Pi and were trying to flag down an auto rickshaw when a bus pulled up.
It was only after boarding that they realised it was no ordinary bus and that their fellow passengers were in fact a group of drunken joyriders.
Nearly unconscious after being savagely beaten, he could do nothing but watch as his friend was repeatedly raped and then violated with an iron rod.
Severe injuries left him unable to attend his friend’s funeral. The accused had broken his leg, stripped him and kicked him out of a moving bus along with the victim.
Sometimes he goes to the cinema alone but his friend’s fate is never far from his mind. “Sometimes I think about my friend, sometimes about the rapists. It sends shivers down my spine.”
Shocking figures that show how unsafe Delhi is for women
Did you know?
Delhi is among the six top-most cities of India where 2.8 per cent rape cases per lakh of population were registered in 2011. Bhopal tops the list, followed by Jabalpur, Gwalior, Indore and Faridabad
1,036 Number of rape cases registered in the first eight months of this year in Delhi
393 Number of rape cases recorded from Jan 1 to March 31, 2013
152 Number of rape cases recorded from Jan 1 to March 31, 2012
643 Number of rape cases registered from April 1 to Aug 15, 2013