Still critical, victim made to give statement again
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The 23-year-old woman, battling for life in Safdarjung hospital after being tortured and gangraped on board a bus in south Delhi, had her statement recorded for the second time in a week on Tuesday. Doctors had to explain to her the need for a fresh statement.
On Monday, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wrote to union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that the sub-divisional magistrate who had recorded the victim's initial statement had complained that there was "interference" from police during the process — a charge dismissed on Tuesday by Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar. But this also meant that the woman's statement had to be recorded afresh by a judicial magistrate.
With her condition a "shade better" but "still critical", doctors were reluctant to again put her through the strain of recording a statement.
"We were not very keen when this request was made to record her statement all over again. Her health is much more fragile compared to last week and she is on ventilator. Even the first time, the family was not very keen, and had refused an on-camera statement. Since investigating officers insisted, we did not have a choice. But we went for a second psychological assessment to make sure she was alright," a doctor said.
The request for a second statement came at a time when her family member have been told to keep her happy, and avoid any mention of the traumatic incident. Doctors said that when the need for a second statement was explained to her during the psychological assessment, she agreed and only then was the process initiated.
Dr Rajesh Rastogi, head of the psychiatry department, said though the woman needs "emotional support for rehabilitation", she is coherent, calm, communicating meaningfully, even asking questions about her future.
Doctors said there was some improvement in her platelet count and her internal bleeding had reduced but she had to continue with antibiotics and transfusion of blood platelets and plasma.