We reached crime spot within minutes, say Delhi Police
People light candles in memory of the gang-rape victim in New Delhi on Saturday. The first public account of the gruesome attack has prompted demands for reform of a law enforcement culture. | AP
Aam Aadmi Party members demand speedy justice to gang-rape victim, at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: V. Sudershan

The Delhi Police on Saturday rebutted allegations of callousness made by the gang-rape victim’s male friend and said Police Control Room (PCR) vans reached the scene within minutes of the crime and removed the duo to hospital swiftly.

In a television interview aired on Friday, the 28-year-old software engineer and only eyewitness to the December 16, 2012 brutal crime alleged that three PCR vans arrived at the scene 30-45 minutes after the PCR call was made and even after reaching the spot the policemen wasted time in deciding on the jurisdiction. As a result, it took more than two hours for them to be taken to the Safdarjung Hospital after they were thrown off the bus.

Denying that the PCR vans took 45 minutes to reach the spot, Joint Commissioner (South West) Vivek Gogia said that as per the Global Positioning System records maintained by the Police Control Room, the first PCR van reached the spot within six minutes of information and another one followed it two minutes later. The PCR vans were not tied down to any police station’s jurisdiction.

“The information regarding the incident was received by a PCR operator at 10.21 p.m. through a phone call received on 100. Two PCR vans — E-47 & Z-54 — reached the spot at 10.27 p.m. and 10.29 p.m.,” said Mr. Gogia, adding that Z-54, which left with the rape victim and her friend at 10.39 p.m., reached Safdarjung Hospital 16 minutes later.

He said some time was spent in shifting the two to the van and in arranging for a bedsheet from a neighbouring hotel to cover them. Mr. Gogia, however, did not answer why the victim’s friend, who himself was injured, had to carry her inside the van instead of the policemen present there doing the job.

Responding to the friend’s question why the two were taken to Safdarjung Hospital instead of to any private hospital nearby, the Joint Commissioner said medico-legal cases were referred to multi-disciplinary government hospitals as better facilities were available there.

Mr. Gogia said the victim was briefed on the developments during the course of investigations and the police were not looking for any “pat on the back,” as alleged by the young man during the interview.

The youth, who was brutally assaulted inside the bus while trying to save the rape victim, also blamed passersby who, he said, ignored the two lying on the road; several autorickshaws, cars and bikes passing through the stretch did not stop to help them despite the fact that the victim was bleeding profusely.

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