UPDATE 2-"Nobody helped us for an hour" - Indian rape witness

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2013 20:00 hrs

* Rape, woman's death provoked protests

* First public comments from victim's friend

* Police say on scene four minutes after call

By Frank Jack Daniel and Satarupa Bhattacharjya

NEW DELHI, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Passers-by left a gang-raped Indian student lying unclothed and bleeding in the street for almost an hour, a male friend who was attacked with her said on Friday in his first public comments on the case that provoked a global outcry.

The 23-year-old student died in hospital two weeks after she was raped on Dec. 16 in a private bus in New Delhi, a city dubbed India's 'rape capital'.

Her friend said he was beaten unconscious by her attackers before the pair were thrown off the vehicle.

They lay in the street for 45 minutes before a police van arrived and officers then spent a long time arguing about where to take them, the man told the Zee News television network.

"We kept shouting at the police, 'please give us some clothes' but they were busy deciding which police station our case should be registered at," the man said in Hindi.

Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told Reuters GPS records show the first police van reached the scene four minutes after it was were called and took the man and the woman to hospital within 24 minutes.

The gang rape prompted street protests across India and promises from the government of tougher punishments for offenders.

It shone a light on a widespread problem of violence against woman in India where official statistics show a rape is reported every 20 minutes.

The male friend said he and the woman were attacked after an evening out watching a film.

"From where we boarded the bus, they (the attackers) moved around for nearly two and a half hours. We were shouting, trying to make people hear us. But they switched off the lights of the bus," he said.

When they were thrown out, they pleaded with passers-by for help, he added in the studio interview, a blue metal crutch leaning on his chair.

"There were a few people who had gathered round but nobody helped. Before the police came I screamed for help but the auto rickshaws, cars and others passing by did not stop," the man added.

Neither the woman nor her friend have been named. Five men were charged with her gang rape and murder on Thursday. (Reporting By Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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