A week after the death of a young woman who died after being gang-raped in India, her male friend disclosed details to the media of what happened the night of the "brutal" attack.
"Many things have come out in the media, but people have been interpreting it as per their convenience. I want to tell them what we faced that night. I want to tell what I faced, what my friend faced," the friend, who remains unnamed, told Zee News.
It was Dec. 16 when the unnamed 23-year-old woman and her male friend were looking for a ride home after watching "Life of Pi" at a mall in New Delhi.
After an autorickshaw driver declined to give them a ride, six men had lured the two onto a bus that the male friend believes was a trap.
The windows were tinted and had curtains, he described in his television interview. Other than the driver and helper, others behaved like passengers and the two even paid a bus fare.
The men began teasing the woman which led to a brawl, he recalled.
"I beat three of them up but then the rest of them brought an iron rod and hit me. Before I fell unconscious, they took my friend away."
When the young woman tried to call the police, they took the phone from her and raped her in the rear of the bus.
"The attack was so brutal I can't even tell you ... even animals don't behave like that," he said in the interview.
The bus ride took nearly two and a half hours, he said, and the two had tried to shout for help but to no avail. The men had the lights turned off in the bus.
Once the men stripped the two and took away their phones, they threw them off the bus. They even tried to "mow us down," the male friend said. But he was able to save the young woman just in time.
"We were without clothes. We tried to stop passersby. Several auto rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but none stopped for about 25 minutes. Then, someone on patrolling, stopped and called the police," he described to Zee News.
It wasn't until 45 minutes after being thrown off the bus that three PCR vans arrived and even then the officials were arguing about which police station's jurisdiction the case fell. The police did not immediately provide them with clothes or medical aid.
"They were just watching us," he said.
"My friend was bleeding profusely; I was more concerned about her. But instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, they (police) took us to a hospital (Safdarjung) that was far away."
The male friend wasn't able to walk or move his hands for weeks.
He wasn't aware of what exactly happened to his female friend until he visited her in the hospital.
"When she gave the first statement to the lady SDM, only then I came to know what had happened with her. I couldn't believe what they did to her. Even when animals hunt, they don't mete out such brutality to their prey," he said.
"She faced all of this and told the magistrate that the accused should not be hanged but burnt to death."
The young woman died on Dec. 29 after suffering severe organ failure.
The case has sparked outrage and protests throughout India, where rape often goes unreported and offenders often go unpunished. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday called for reform. "We need a reappraisal of the entire system," he said, according to AP.
Five men were charged with murder and rape. A sixth suspect believed to be a juvenile is being held.