I want them hanged: Bus rape victim

New Delhi, Jan. 9: The victim of the December 16 gang rape wanted the six men who assaulted her to be hanged, according to her dying declaration.

"I want them to be hanged so that no other criminal can do this kind of torture and ill-treatment to any other girl. In fact, such criminals should be burnt alive," she had told a sub-divisional magistrate who recorded her statement at Safdarjung Hospital on December 23, two weeks before pre-trial proceedings began.

The 23-year-old paramedical student wrote the names of five of the accused on a piece of paper from her hospital bed, a top Delhi police source said. She also scribbled two lines on the paper: "Kuch logon ko aate dekha…. aur rod se ladai ki aur lohe" (Saw some people coming… and (was) attacked with a rod and iron…)."

"The piece of paper will be placed before the trial court," a senior police officer said. Pre-trial proceedings started on January 7.

The young woman, who was grievously injured in the assault and died six days later, could not write any further.

"They took me to the back of the bus, tore my clothes and took turns to rape me. They also assaulted me with an iron rod and bit me everywhere. They inserted the rod inside my body and the six people took turns to rape for nearly an hour. I was semi-conscious," she said in the December 23 declaration.

The victim told the magistrate she suspected something amiss after boarding the bus as the conductor locked the door and switched off the lights. "But the conductor of the bus had already taken Rs 20 as fare and the bus had started moving by then. That's why we kept seated," the statement said.

The men then started abusing her male friend before beating him up, she said.

In a second statement, given to a metropolitan magistrate on December 25, the victim said the accused took her for dead when they threw her out of the bus. "They said, 'the girl is dead. Throw her'."

The young woman also told the metropolitan magistrate she could identify the rapists.

Two of the men had pretended to be passengers, she said. The men had taken turns to drive the bus, the victim also said.

Police sources said the main accused, bus driver Ram Singh, had revealed during interrogation that he and his co-accused had planned to pick up a "female passenger to have sex and make merry" before they had set out for a "joy ride" on December 16 evening.

"He also disclosed that they wanted to kill the victim and her friend so as to ensure their identities did not come to light," an officer said.

In a statement to a magistrate that was recorded before the victim's statements, her friend and the lone witness said three of the six accused first beat him up, slapped and kicked him.

"I fought back but two more persons joined and started beating me up. I tried to hide under the seat but they brought a rod and assaulted me on the head, hand and leg. My friend tried to save me but two of them took her to the back of the bus. They asked the driver to speed up. They beat me severely and made me almost unconscious. They tore her clothes and took turns to rape her. She was screaming," he said.

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