WSJ: How a Night Out in Delhi Turned Tragic

Protesters in India. (Image via National Post)
Protesters in India. (Image via National Post)

A Woman Determined to Improve Her Position in Life Became a Victim of a Brutal Attack; Alleged Culprits on ‘Joy Ride’

By AMOL SHARMAKRISHNA POKHAREL and VIBHUTI AGARWAL
Wall Street Journal

NEW DELHI—On the evening of Dec. 16, a young female physiotherapy student went to a movie with a male friend. After, they waited at a bus stop on a busy road in a south Delhi neighborhood called Munirka.

They were, in many ways, the face of a youthful, up-and-coming India. She was 23 years old, from a lower-caste rural family, according to news reports. She was a role model in her neighborhood, reports said, engrossed in her studies in the northern city of Dehradun, paying tuition with money raised when her parents sold their land.

“She wanted to ensure that she studied well, stood on her own feet and made it big in life so she could ensure a better future for her family,” a friend told the Sunday Express.

Her companion on Dec. 16 was a 28-year-old software engineer at a local technology company. The two victims’ names haven’t been disclosed by authorities.

The same evening, not far away, a much different side of youthful India was on display. Two brothers—Ram and Mukesh Singh—cooked some chicken at their home in a slum called Ravi Dass Camp, a maze of narrow lanes and open drains. Neighbors describe the brothers as rowdy, heavy drinkers.

The brothers decided, with four friends, to take a “joy ride” in the bus that Ram Singh drove for a living, according to police statements. None of the six, who are all in custody, nor their lawyers could be reached for comment.

A little after 9 p.m., the bus pulled in at the stop where the couple waited, police say. They were the only ones to board, paying a fare of about 20 rupees, or 35 cents, according to police. Thus began an encounter so gruesome that it shocked the nation and, ultimately, took a life.

As the bus set off, three of the men who were seated in the driver’s cabin started harassing the two passengers, police say. When the software engineer tried to resist, the men started beating him on his legs, arms and head, according to police.

The woman tried to intervene to protect her friend. The men dragged her to the rear of the bus and raped her as they drove around south Delhi for an hour, police say.

Read more in this Dec. 3- story in Wall Street Journal. 

 

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