The unfortunate incident occurred on December 16 in Delhi and shook the entire nation, even as the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern fought for her life in the Safdarjung Hospital (Delhi) and later the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. She succumbed to her injuries thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment in Singapore for brain and gastrointestinal damage on December 29.
After watching a film in South Delhi in the early evening, she and a male companion had boarded a bus, which was being driven as an unauthorized "joyride", thinking it was a public bus.
The only other passengers on the bus were five men who were friends of the driver. All six, including the driver, were charged in connection with the assaults and have been arrested.
After the attack, she was taken to Safdarjang Hospital, received multiple surgeries, and was placed on mechanical ventilation.
The victims, a 23-year old woman and her male friend, were on their way home after watching the film Life of Pi in Saket in South Delhi.They boarded a chartered bus at Munirka for Dwarka that was being driven by joyriders at about 9:30 pm.
The minor among the accused had called for passengers telling them that it was going towards their destination.
The woman's friend became suspicious when the bus deviated from its normal route and its doors were shut. When he objected, the group of six men already on board taunted the couple, asking what they were doing alone at such a late hour.
When the male victim tried to intervene, he was beaten, gagged and knocked unconscious with an iron rod.
The men dragged the woman to the rear of the bus, beating her with the rod and raping her while the bus driver continued to drive. Medical reports later suggested that the woman suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals due to the assault, and doctors say that the damage indicates that a blunt object (suspected to be the iron rod) may have been used for penetration.
That rod was later described by police as being a rusted, L-shaped implement of the type used as a wheel jack handle.According to the International Business Times, a police spokesman said that the youngest attacker "sexually abused his victim twice and ripped out her intestines with his bare hands."
According to police reports the woman attempted to fight off her assailants, biting three of the attackers and leaving bite marks on the accused men.After the beatings and rape ended, the attackers threw both the victims from the moving bus.
Then the accused allegedly tried to drive the bus over the woman but she was pulled aside by her male friend. One of the perpetrators later cleaned the vehicle. Police impounded it the next day.
The victims were found by a passerby on the road, partially clothed and unconscious, around 11 pm. The passerby phoned the Delhi Police, who took the couple to a hospital, where the female victim was given emergency treatment and placed on mechanical ventilation.
She was found with only 5% of her intestines left inside of her. A doctor at the hospital later said that the "rod was inserted into her and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines also. That is probably the only thing that explains such severe damage to her intestines.”
The incident has generated international coverage and was condemned by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, who called on the Government of India and the Government of Delhi "to do everything in their power to take up radical reforms, ensure justice and reach out with robust public services to make women’s lives more safe and secure".
The female victim was born and raised in Delhi while her parents were from a small village in the Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. Her father, who sold his agricultural land to educate her, works for a private company as a loader in Delhi.
Complying with Indian law, the real name of the victim was initially not released to the media, so pseudonyms were used for her by various media houses instead, including Jagruti ("awareness"), Amanat ("treasure"), Nirbhaya ("fearless one"), and Damini ("lightning", after the 1993 Hindi film Damini),although some media commentators have questioned the judgement of using pseudonyms for her.
Six men have been arrested in connection with the incident: Ram Singh, the bus driver, and his brother, Mukesh Singh, were both arrested in Rajasthan; Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor, was arrested in Delhi, as was Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller; Mohammad Afroz (aka Raju), a 17 years and 8 month old minor and native of Uttar Pradesh was arrested by the police at Anand Vihar terminal in Delhi; Akshay Thakur, a man who had gone from Bihar to Delhi seeking work, was arrested in Aurangabad in Bihar.
The group had been eating and drinking together and "having a party" earlier that day.Mohammad Afroz (aka Raju) had only met the others that day.Although the charter bus which Ram Singh drove on weekdays was not permitted to pick up public passengers or even to operate in Delhi because of its tinted windows, they decided to take it out "to have some fun".
With Mukesh Singh driving, they first picked up a carpenter who was charged Rs. 10 for a ticket and then robbed of Rs. 8,000 and ejected in South Delhi.They then turned back and a half hour later, picked up the couple who were charged Rs. 10 each.
Ram Singh was presented before the Metropolitan Magistrate on 18 December 2012.Mukesh Singh, who was placed in Tihar Jail after his arrest, was assaulted by other inmates and was kept in solitary confinement for his own protection.
Ram and Mukesh Singh are from Ravidas camp, a slum in South Delhi.Ram Singh suffers from a substantial disability in his right arm, sustained after a bus accident for which he had sought compensation. He refused to participate in an identification process.
Shortly after the attacks, Gupta said he accepted his guilt and should be hanged.
The male victim is 28 years old, from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, and lives in Ber Sarai, New Delhi.
Public protests took place in Delhi, where thousands of protesters clashed with security forces. Similar protests took place in major cities throughout the country.