On her sixth day in hospital, 23-year-old 'Amanat' (NOT her real name) has shown signs of improvement according to doctors who have been treating her since she was gang-raped, and beaten along with her friend who tried to protect her on a moving bus in the heart of Delhi.
'Amanant' had few sips of juice today, doctors said; she was taken off the ventilator yesterday. (Read)
Now that she is able to speak a little, she shared details of the relentless attack that has shocked, shamed and scarred India. With doctors satisfied that her condition is improving, she met with a senior police official and a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) last night.
She said that she was standing at a bus stop with her friend, a software engineer, when a chartered bus, the kind that is used often to supplement public transport in Delhi, pulled up. A man on the bus told 'Amanat' and her friend that the bus was headed towards where she lived. The couple boarded the bus at around 9.30 pm. But 3-4 minutes later, the young woman's friend got suspicious as the bus was moving in a route different than what they intended to take. He also raised an objection after the accused shut the door of the bus.
Soon after, the six men - all accused - started taunting the two on how they were out together at night. This led to a scuffle between 'Amanat's' friend and the rest. This is when two of the accused took her to the back of the bus even as her friend was hit on his head by Ram Singh, the main accused and the driver of the bus. While he fell unconscious, the 33-year-old bus driver went to the back of the bus and first raped 'Amanat'. She told the cops that the accused were threatening to throw her off the bus while she was being subjected to the torture. The nightmare, 'Amanat' told the police, lasted for around 30 minutes.
The 23-year-old has also told the police that the accused had, initially, wanted to throw her male friend out of the bus when the fight began. But they desisted and later, finding both the young woman and her friend unconscious, threw them out of the bus at Mahipalpur on the outskirts of Delhi. She has also told the police that the accused took off their clothes and also took away their belongings.
In Delhi today, seething protesters clashed with the police near Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi. They wanted to know why nobody from the government was emerging to talk to them about what steps to be taken to make women safer all over the country. (Read)
This entire week, demonstrations all over India have vociferously sought new laws that will provide harsher penalty for rapists.