The main accused in the gang-rape of a medical student in Delhi on Sunday, bus driver Ram Singh has refused to undergo a test identification parade, which now forces the police to base its case against him and his co-accused on forensic evidence.
Ram Singh, 30, was produced in a local court today and was remanded to five days in police custody. He was brought to a jam-packed courtroom with his face covered. The bus driver is among four men arrested by the police; two of the accused are on the run.
A test identification parade is a procedure in which the alleged offender is brought before witnesses and victims for identification. It could have been conducted as soon as the victim's male friend - who was with her on Sunday evening and was also beaten up brutally by the six men who allegedly raped the student - was pronounced medically fit to identify the accused. But Ram Singh is allowed by law to refuse such a parade.
The police sought Ram Singh's custody in court as they said they needed to interrogate him to trace the two men yet to be arrested.
Apart from trying to trace the clothes the accused were wearing that day for forensic evidence, the police also want to recover the mobile phones and ATM cards of the victim and her male friend, which the assailants allegedly took away with them.
The police said that while in their custody, Ram Singh will be taken to Rajasthan, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh to help arrest the two men absconding.
Ram Singh was the first to be arrested in the case last evening. The three others arrested are expected to be produced in court tomorrow.
On Sunday evening, police said, Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and four other friends took the chartered bus he drove as a school bus, for a "joy ride".
They spotted the student and her friend at the Munirka bus stop in south Delhi and called out to them saying the bus was headed to Dwarka, where the woman lives, the police said.
Inside the bus they reportedly first taunted the two for being out together in the night and then assaulted them. When the woman fought back, police sources say, the six men "decided to teach her a lesson." They dragged her to the back of the moving bus and repeatedly raped her and punched her in the stomach.
They also beat her friend with an iron rod. After almost an hour of the torture, they allegedly threw the two out of the bus, stripped of much of their clothing, on a flyover.
They were found unconscious there and were taken to hospital by the police, where the woman has undergone multiple surgeries and is now on ventilator support with what doctors have described as "irreparable damage" to her abdomen and intestines.