Wasn't in Delhi on Dec 16 gangrape night, accused tells court

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) One of the accused in the Dec 16, 2012 gangrape Thursday claimed innocence in a Delhi court saying he had left for his native village in Bihar a day before the incident.

Accused Akshay Thakur told Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna: "It is wrong to suggest that I was in the bus at the time of the incident. I left Delhi on Dec 15 for my village."

Co-accused Mukesh claimed in the fast-track court that at the time of the incident he was driving the bus and was drunk but did not rape the woman.

He, however, indirectly supported the version of the prosecution saying that other accused -- Ram Singh (since deceased), Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and a juvenile -- were present in the bus and he heard some voices.

He also claimed that he, along with other five co-accused, had not beaten or robbed a carpenter in the bus on that night.

Police said Ramadhar, a carpenter, was lured into the bus and robbed by six people before they gangraped the woman in the moving vehicle.

Appearing as a prosecution witness, Ramadhar identified four accused in the court as those who had robbed and assaulted him the Dec 16 night.

Mukesh said Ramadhar boarded the bus on his own but was asked to get down from the vehicle after he refused to pay the fare.

"It is correct that Ramadhar boarded the bus on his own on Dec 16, 2012 evening from Sabji Market in Sector 4 of R.K. Puram in south Delhi... He got off at IIT flyover," Mukesh said.

Ramadhar was not thrown out of the bus but he got off on his own after "Akshay asked for the bus to be stopped as he was not paying the fare", Mukesh said.

The case relates to a 23-year-old woman being gangraped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in Delhi Dec 16 last year. Thirteen days later, she died in a Singapore hospital where she was taken for treatment.

Six people, including the juvenile, were arrested in the case. While accused Ram Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur were tried by a fast track court in Saket in south Delhi, the juvenile's case was heard by the JJB.

The case against Ram Singh was dropped after he was found dead, hanging in his cell in Tihar Jail here.

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