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'Amanat' case: Friend being cross-examined by defence lawyers

'Amanat' case: Friend being cross-examined by defence lawyers

The bus on which the student and her friend were attacked was brought to the court complex on Tuesday.

New Delhi Lawyers defending the five men accused of gang-raping and murdering a 23-year-old medical student on a moving bus in Delhi today began cross-examining her friend who has testified against them.

The engineer was with the student on the bus during the attack on December 16 last year and is the only eyewitness. Before the student was raped, he was hit so badly with an iron rod that he is still unable to walk properly. Yesterday, he arrived in court on a wheelchair, escorted by his father.

The bus used in the attack that stunned and horrified India, triggering massive protests and new anti-rape laws, was brought to the court complex yesterday for identification by the engineer.

The case is being heard in a special fast-track court. The judge has banned all reporting of proceedings inside the courtroom.

On Saturday, the five suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. If convicted, they could face death penalty. A sixth, who has been declared a juvenile, is being tried separately and faces a maximum sentence of three years in a reform facility.

The medical student's father expressed his family's unhappiness with that at a press conference in Delhi yesterday. "We want all six men to be hanged," he said. (Read: She died but awakened the nation, says medical student's father)

Before she died, 23-year-old 'Amanat' (NOT her real name) recorded her testimony for a judge; for the prosecution, her statement along with that of her friend's, will be crucial.

In a television interview, the engineer has said that over an hour after the attack on them began, the couple was thrown from the bus onto the road. He said that the gang on the bus wanted to run the student over, but he pushed her out of the way.

(With inputs from agencies)
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