Delhi gangrape trial begins

New Delhi (The Statesman/ANN) - The male friend of the 23-year-old gangrape victim, who is the sole eyewitness in the case, yesterday appeared before a fast-track court to testify about the 16 December incident as the trial in the case began.

Delhi Police also filed its supplementary charge-sheet in the case.

The 28-year-old software engineer came in a wheelchair before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna after he was summoned as a prosecution witness in the case.

Although he was kept away from media glare, his father confirmed that his son would give evidence in the trial of the five men who have all denied murder, rape and robbery charges. "My son will go to any length to ensure that the guilty are punished. He will cooperate and is prepared to answer any questions posed by the defence," said the father as the two of them entered the courtroom in the Saket district courts complex.

The 23-year-old paramedicine student died in a Singapore hospital on December 29 from massive internal injuries she sustained during the bus assault a fortnight earlier, which caused outrage across the nation.

She and her male companion had spent the evening at the cinema and were lured onto the off-duty bus after failing to flag down an autorickshaw to take them home. As well as taking turns to rape the medical student and violating her with an iron bar, the group attacked her companion so badly that he is still unable to walk properly. He is the main witness in the case.

Apart from the dying declaration of the girl, her male friend's recorded statement is among the most crucial prosecution evidence in the case. Besides the victim's male friend, the court had also summoned three other prosecution witnesses to depose before the judge.

Meanwhile, a 24-year-old woman suffered serious injuries after an employee of a power distribution company allegedly shoved an iron rod into her mouth while trying to rape her at her home at Lajpat Nagar here. Police arrested the man, identified as Anil, on charges of attempt to murder and rape while the girl is in a private hospital in a critical condition.

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