Does it take an incident of such nature to change system, asks man who alerted cops
On the busy NH-8, they lay naked in the cold, bleeding. At least 50 onlookers, including women, stopped by in their cars, trying to figure out what had happened to the 23-year-old gangrape victim and her friend. But no one came forward to help. It was when 48-year-old Raj Kumar, a private highway patrol officer, was passing by with his colleague on their motorcycle that help finally came.
A year on, Kumar said "things are yet to change". "There is hardly any police presence on the Mahipalpur-Vasant Vihar stretch. A woman still doesn't feel safe walking on a deserted street at night. Whatever mimimal changes have come about have been after the incident. Are you telling me, it takes an incident of such nature to bring about a change in the system?"
Kumar and his colleague Surender Singh, who later deposed before the court as principal witnesses in the December 16 gangrape case as the first public responders to the incident, reached the spot at 10.02 pm that night.
"I saw men and women standing around the girl and the boy. They were bleeding. She was lying down, crouched. The friend was sitting against a bush by a tree. I took off my sweater and gave it to the girl and my shirt, to the boy. I asked the boy what had happened and he told me everything...," Kumar said.
At 10.05 pm, Kumar called the control room of the toll plaza from his walkie-talkie and told them to make a PCR call. At 10.06 pm, the control room made a call to the Delhi Police control room. "Still, there was no help in sight. I asked Surender to stand by the victims, while I ran across to Hotel 37 across the road from where I got a bedsheet and a bottle of water," Kumar said, who served in the army between 1983 and 2002 in 2 Rajputana Rifles.