NEW DELHI: The 28-year-old male friend of the girl and the sole eyewitness to the brutal assault and gangrape of the 23-year-old girl in a moving bus was on Wednesday cross examined by the defence in the fast-track court trying the case.
The youth, a software engineer, had on Tuesday testified as a witness for the prosecution in-camera proceedings against the five accused, who have pleaded not guilty to charges, including rape and murder, framed against them.
The victim’s friend was brought before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna in a wheelchair because of the injuries inflicted on him in the heinous attack on Dec.16, 2012.
His cross-examination will continue on Thursday.
The details of the proceedings cannot be reported by the media as the court has imposed a ban on it under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
Apart from the victim’s friend, three others were to give evidence.
However, they could not do it on Wednesday due to paucity of time.
The girl had died on Dec.29, 2012 in a Singapore hospital as a result of the grievous injuries she had suffered when she was sexually assaulted by six people, one of them a juvenile.
Before she had died, the girl had recorded her testimony before a magistrate.
Her statement along with that of her friend’s will be crucial for the prosecution.
The court, on Feb.2, had framed charges against five adults accused in the case under various sections of the IPC for offences which include gangrape, murder, attempt to murder, unnatural offences, dacoity, conspiracy and kidnapping.
The police on Jan.3 had filed its initial chargesheet against bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit admitted on Wednesday that women do not feel safe in Delhi.
“Women don’t feel safe in Delhi. Fears have risen. I’m shocked to learn about the Lajpat Nagar attempted rape case. It’s a big setback for us,” she said referring to the rape bid on a 19-year-old woman on Tuesday. The Class 9 student fought off the rape bid in her own house by an electricity contractor, who thrust an iron rod into her throat to quell her cries for help. The accused has been arrested.
However, the chief minister promised to do everything possible to provide safety to women.
“My government will do everything possible to provide a conducive atmosphere for the women in the city,” Dikshit said.
But Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat criticised Dikshit.
Indo-Asian News Service