16-year-old runaway is ‘attacked by bus conductor’ as full horror of sex assaults emerges

  • Victim endured 45-minute attack while driven around Delhi
  • She was running away from home after being raped by her brother
  • Off-duty conductor, 32, arrested
  • Rape is one of most common crimes against women in India
  • Number of reported rape cases rose by nearly 17% between 2007 and 2011
  • Rape reported every 18 hours in New Delhi
  • Rape victims rarely press charges because of social stigma

article-2255198-16B1D762000005DC-163_634x526A 16-year-old girl has allegedly been raped on a Delhi bus on the same day a 23-year-old woman died after being gang-raped on one of the capital’s buses.

Protests gather momentum as tensions mount at the full scale of the country’s problem in which rape is one of the most common crimes against women with one reported every 18 hours in New Delhi.

The latest victim was the only passenger on the bus when an off-duty conductor allegedly attacked her for 45 minutes as the bus was driven around central Delhi.

The attack echoes that against a 23-year-old student who was cremated yesterday after she died from injuries sustained when she gang-raped on a moving Delhi bus by six men.

The latest attack in India’s ‘rape capital’ will fuel the protests which have gripped the country since the gang-rape on December 16 and the victim’s subsequent death on Saturday.

The 16-year-old girl claims she was raped by an off-duty bus conductor while an on-duty conductor and driver looked on.

The attack is believed to have stopped only when the driver became disorientated by police barricades set up as a result of protests in support of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim, and stopped to ask police directions.

Bangalore pays tribute to Delhi gang-rape victim

Police spotted the traumatised girl in the back and came to her rescue.

The victim boarded the bus at Khayala near Subhash Nagar in west Delhi and was en route to Lajpat Nagar. 

The accused has been identified as Ranjit Singh, 32, a resident of Jhajjar.

He was arrested by the police deployed at the Mandi House picket and later sent to judicial custody.

The transport department has dismissed the accused as well as the driver and conductor.

In a sickening twist, the girl is reported to have been running away from her home in west Delhi after accusing her brother of raping her.

She has now been sent to Prayas, a childcare home in Lajpat Nagar.

The brother of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim cremated on Saturday believes she could have survived but the decision to take her to Singapore for life-saving treatment came too late.

In an interview with the Indian Express today, he also called for the death penalty to be handed down to the perpetrators.

‘The fight has just begun. We want all the accused hanged, and we will fight for that, till the end,’ he said.

The trainee physiotherapist was flown to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore four days ago – almost two weeks after she was raped by a gang of six men on a bus in Delhi.

‘She could have been saved perhaps, but the decision came late,’ her brother said, adding: ‘Mount Elizabeth Hospital had very high standards of hygiene. They could have prevented the infection.’

The woman’s body was cremated yesterday after an aircraft chartered by the Indian government brought it back to Delhi from Singapore where she died on Saturday while being treated for severe injuries.

Her horrific ordeal has galvanised Indians to demand greater protection for women from sexual violence with mass demonstrations, candle-lit vigils and street protests with placards, chants and road blocks.

The Indian Congress has put forward plans for chemical castration and 30-year jail terms for all rapists following the attack.

A draft Bill has been put together and will be finalised and handed to India’s chief justice by the end of January.

Meanwhile the victim’s father has described his final conversation with his daughter in the Intensive Care Unit in Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi.

‘She said, “aap so jao, main bhi ab soungi” (you go to sleep, I will also sleep). Then she embraced my hand and slept as a tear dropped from the corner of her eye. Those were her last words to me. Thereafter, she never gained consciousness and didn’t talk to any of us,’ he said.

Her mother was taken to hospital yesterday after collapsing while her daughter was being cremated.

It has also emerged that the planned to marry her boyfriend, who was injured in the same attack, according to her neighbours.

Her brother paid tribute to her and her partner’s bravery in the vicious attack.

‘She was very strong. She always said one should never bear atrocities but fight against it. While she was admitted in hospital, she told me that she fought back as hard as she could. She was defending herself by beating and biting them.

‘She thrashed them and kicked them too. They were boiling in anger by her defence so they decided to kill her. She told me that they were murmuring ‘maar do ise’ (kill her). They threw her considering she was dead.

‘The boy was equally courageous like my sister. She told me that he guarded her until he became unconscious.’

The girl and her boyfriend had spent the evening watching The Life of Pi at a multiplex in the Saket district of Delhi when they were attacked on the bus home on December 16. 

It is thought he defended his girlfriend after she was initially verbally abused by a group of six men.

They were then imprisoned on the bus by a gang for around an hour as it was driven around Delhi.

Their brutal assaults were hidden from view by the closed curtains on the bus. 

She was also abused with a rod, which left her with horrific internal injuries. The pair were eventually hurled naked from the vehicle as it was still moving.

They had made all the wedding preparations and had planned a wedding party in Delhi,’ a neighbour told NDTV.

‘We know that she was going to get married in February,’ she said. ‘The whole neighbourhood was excited about it.’

Today’s private ceremony took place with Indian riot policemen standing guard outside the cremation centre in New Delhi.

Fearing the unrest amidst the public anger, the location and timing of the cremation was not disclosed, but it was held soon after the arrival of her body from Singapore on a special Air-India flight.

Her distraught mother collapsed and was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital after her daughter’s body was taken away.

Premier Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, head of the ruling Congress party, were at the airport to receive the body and meet family members of the victim who had also arrived on the flight.

article-2254504-16AE34B5000005DC-236_634x286

After the body arrived at the airport, it was taken to the woman’s home in New Delhi for religious rituals before being escorted by police to the crematorium.

Security was tight, with no access to the public or media at the crematorium.

Sheila Dikshit, the senior elected leader of New Delhi, and junior home minister R.P.N. Singh placed wreaths beside the body before it was cremated.

Details about the girl’s identity have not been released to protect the family.

But The Hindustan Times newspaper described her as a dedicated student who tutored neighbours’ children to boost her family’s income

The parents had sold a plot of land nearby as well as land in their village in Ballia district of eastern Uttar Pradesh to fund their daughter’s education.

‘Now her elder brother, who is preparing for his engineering entrance exams, has no hope to continue his studies. The family had depended on her future career to see them out of their poverty,’ a neighbour called Vimla told IANS. 

Indian police have charged six men with murder in the December 16 attack, which shocked the country and triggered protests for greater protection for women from sexual violence.

The six suspects face the death penalty if convicted, in a case that has triggered protests across India and raised questions about lax attitudes by police toward sexual crimes.
Source- MailOnline

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