The male friend of the 23-year-old medical student, who was gang-raped and left unclothed and bleeding in the street and later died in hospital two weeks after she was attacked on December 16 on a private bus in New Delhi, has said that things would have gone differently if someone had stopped to help.
Passers-by left the gang-raped student lying unclothed and bleeding in the street for almost an hour, a male friend who was assaulted with her said on Friday (January 4) in his first public comments on the case that provoked a global outcry.
"It would have been a very different scenario today, had even one person come to our help that day. So change is required at individual level and the system. The people in power who make and run the system if they have any conscience left in them, then they must realize the need to incorporate the necessary changes," the man said on Friday (January 4th) in an interview broadcast on the Zee News television network.
"Yes, sometimes I regret why we went there that day? Why I did not get an auto rickshaw that day? That I should have waited a little longer for another auto rickshaw, someone else would have agreed to take us to our destination," he added.
The graphic account from the man is likely to add fuel to public anger over the death in a country where official statistics show one rape is reported every 20 minutes.
The woman's friend also said she had made a statement to a Sub-Divisional Magistrate.
"My friend had hopes with Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) that she would fight for her and take the case forward. And it was during her statement before the SDM that she said that the rapists should be burnt alive and not awarded capital punishment. The next day I was shocked to discover that the government had received a letter that her statement was given under pressure," the man said.
"My friend's statement was correct, she took a lot of effort in giving it, which all went in vain. The doctors asked the SDM to finish her work fast, but my friend insisted that she wanted to complete the statement. Her efforts went in vain," he added.
The man called for the protests to continue, but said he wished people had come to his friend's aid when she needed it.
"If people want to do anything, then do not let the movement die down. Please continue the agitation, the efforts of the masses is bringing about some changes in the system and there is hope of a better future. So please keep the momentum strong, we might achieve something good," the man said.
"She has done a lot, by awakening us. If we continue the movement in her name then it would be a real tribute," he added.
Neither the woman nor her friend have been named. Five men were charged with her gang rape and murder on Thursday. A court is due to consider the charges on Saturday. (ANI)