When the 23-year-old medical student, Jyoti Singh Pandey, went out with her fiancé, Awindra Pandey, to a cinema in Saket, little did they know that she would be the subject of the ‘Delhi Gang Rape’. After watching Life of Pi on the Sunday evening of December 16 2012, they couldn’t route themselves back to Dwarka. After pleading many ‘auto drivers’ (i.e. local taxi drivers), the couple finally compromised and agreed to be dropped midway, at a bus stop in Munirka.

Stranded

Seeing their pitifully dire state, a seventeen year-old man approached the couple. He enticed them onto a bus, which he claimed was ‘going towards their destination’. In the bus were five other men who appeared as other passengers. After deliberating, the couple preferred not to wait any longer, and so they paid Rs.20 each for their fare and followed the men’s lead onto the white bus.

The couple soon realized that it was not a public bus; it was a private, and unlicensed, bus with black-glassed windows, which were covered by equally suspicious dark curtains. The six men jointly hired the bus so they could enjoy a ‘joy ride’ throughout the city; they were eating, drinking, and partying in the bus all day.

The Attack

As the bus began, the men offed the bus lights and closed all windows and curtains. They diverted from the route towards Dwarka, and confiscated the couple’s phones. As defense, Jyoti bit three of the men, but this just fuelled their anger and boosted the men’s devil instincts. Awindra was then hit on his head with an iron rod and was knocked out of consciousness. This gave the gang a clear pathway towards Jyoti. Stripping the woman naked, they each took turns and repeatedly raped her. While some report that the men inserted the iron rod inside Jyoti, others suggest that the men used their bare hands and ripped out her intestines.

In the three hours that the bus was hovering through Delhi, the carnivorous men heartlessly stripped the couple off everything they had – tangible and otherwise. Seeing the lifeless state of Jyoti and Awindra, the men threw the naked couple off the bus, and attempted to ride over them to eliminate all evidence of their misdemeanors. Miraculously, Awindra still had enough senses to save himself and Jyoti.

Rocky Road to Recovery

Awindra Pandey, the “Delhi Gang Rape” victim’s friend-speaks out

After being dumped on the streets, their suffering was neglected by onlookers for the next thirty minutes. Even after the police came more time was wasted as they discussed which station and officials should take charge of the case. As Awindra later testified during his interview with Zee TV, the policemen refused to touch Jyoti after seeing her incessant bleeding. Awindra, who had trouble even lifting his own hand, was left to somehow muster the strength to place his fiancé into the van. Then rather than taking the injured to the nearest hospital the police drove further; they had to take them to a government hospital.

Jyoti’s situation was very critical, and the consistent delays hampered her recovery. Amongst her countless sufferings, the doctors confirmed that she had just 5% of her intestines remaining. Although Jyoti couldn’t speak, she gave her statements in writing, and lived to see her story reach international headlines. Multiple protests occurred throughout the country; some vented their fears for female security and grudges against the mentality of male dominance, while others were irked at the national transportation, police and judiciary systems. Unlike the countless other national rape incidents, which occur every 14 hours, one was assured that this Delhi gang rape case wouldn’t be ignored.

The Dark Night with an Inner Light

In trying to save a flickering Jyoti, India’s Prime Minister charted her to Singapore for expert treatment. This raised questions about India’s medical expertise as it became obvious that it was a politically motivated move; the public furor would’ve been unbearable if she passed away in India. As expected, Jyoti was declared dead three days later, due to cerebral edema and multiple organ failure. We all know, however, that it wasn’t her organs, but humanity that failed her.

As the hearing of the rapists happens on Thursday, the public will be watching closely to ensure the men are served their just deserts – possibly capital punishment. More importantly though, one looks forward to the changes that the systems would bring, to reduce – if not prevent – the recurrence of another blackout of morality.

 

Includes information from various sources.

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