The Delhi Police on Saturday said they have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Zee News for revealing the identity of the Delhi gangrape victim's male friend, who is the sole eyewitness in the case, by airing his interview on Friday.
The FIR was registered against Zee News under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 228A (Disclosure of identity of the victim of certain offences etc) at the Vasant Vihar Police Station, the police said.
Appearing on television for the first time, the 23-year-old gangrape victim´s friend said no one came to their help as they laid helpless on the road and the police also waited more than two hours to take them to the hospital despite the appalling injuries on Dec 16 night when they were attacked.
Pertinently, the channel identified the man as 28-year-old software engineer Avaindra Pratap Pandey.
The Delhi Police have negated the charges of delay as was mentioned by Pandey in his interview to Zee News.
Delhi Police PRO Rajan Bhagat told media, "The PCR call was recorded at 10:22:20 pm. The call was broadcasted to PCR vans and van Z-54 was directed to spot. Meanwhile PCR van E-42 reached spot on its own at 10:26 pm ie within 4 minutes."
"Van Z-54 reached spot at 10:28 pm ie within 5.5 minutes of call. It left the spot with victims at 10:31 pm ie within 3 minutes. It reached Safdarjang hospital within 24 minutes at 10:55 pm. All records as per GPS," Bhagat said.
India´s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday slammed the police for the delay.
Reacting to Pandey´s claims on police actions, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters: "This is a classic case of gross systematic failure."
Reacting to Pandey´s claims, former top cop Kiran Bedi tweeted: "Interv(interview) of Brave heart´s friend on Zee TV exposes a broken down social system. Community,police and all other services! Real Shame!"
In his first appearance on television, Pandey said he wished he was able to save his friend.
"I wish I could have saved her," he said in an interview to Zee News, remembering the woman who lost her life on Dec 29 after a 13-day long battle for her life, against the injuries inflicted upon her by six men, who now stand trial for burglary, rape and murder.
Believed to be the only witness in the case, Pandey said the victim was positive and wanted to live even after the horrific ordeal.
"They were just watching us. Nobody came to help us." he said.
On the night of the Dec 16, the six men had lured them into boarding the bus, he said.
"The occupants of the bus which had tinted windows and curtains had trapped us. They were probably involved in crimes before also," Pandey said.
"They beat us up, hit us with iron rod, snatched our clothes and belongings and they threw us off the bus on a deserted stretch," the victim´s friend said.
"From where we boarded bus, they moved around for nearly two and a half hours. We were shouting, trying to make people hear us," Pandey said.
"But they switched off the lights. We tried to resist them. Even my friend fought with them, she tried to save me. She tried to dial police control room number 100, but the men snatched the mobile," he said.
"After throwing us off the bus, they tried to mow us down, but I saved my friend by pulling her away in the nick of time," he said.
"We were without clothes. We tried to stop people passing by. Several auto rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but no one stopped for about 25 minutes," Pandey said.
"Then someone on patrol stopped and called the police,´ he told Zee News.
Pandey claimed three police vans arrived at the scene after about 45 minutes, and then started arguing over which police station's jurisdiction the case fell.
He alleged nobody, including the police, gave them clothes or called an ambulance.
"They were just watching us," Pandey said, adding that he had to carry his badly injured friend to the PCR van on his own as the policemen did not help them as the girl was bleeding profusely.
"My friend was bleeding profusely. But instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, they (police) took us to a far away hospital," he said
"Nobody from the public helped us. People were probably afraid that if they help us they would become witness to the crime and would be asked to come to police stations and courts,´ he told the channel.
Recalling the horrors of the night, the Delhi gangrape victim´s friend said: "Even at the hospital we were made to wait and I had to literally beg for clothes. I borrowed a stranger's mobile and called my relatives, but just told them that I met with an accident. My treatment started only after my relatives came."
"I was hit on the head. I was not able to walk. I was not able to move my hands for two weeks," he told Zee News.
Pandey´s interview to the Hindi news channel was his first appearance on television and comes as protests continue to roil the nation following the death of his friend.
Meanwhile, a special fast-track court here on Saturday will begin hearing on the gangrape of the 23-year-old medical student, reports said.
The court will take cognizance of the chargesheet, which the police filed at the metropolitan magistrate´s court in Saket on Thursday.
The police filed a 1000-page chargesheet in a record 18 days that reportedly has the statements of 30 witnesses in the case.
The five accused are likely to be summoned to court next week. They are currently lodged in Tihar Jail.
The sixth accused, a minor, is now housed at a juvenile home. His bone-marrow test is being conducted to ascertain his exact age.