Rusting doors,shattered windows can’t shut out bus nightmare

The tyres are flat. The doors show signs of rusting. The shattered windows are lined with cobwebs.

Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi | Published:September 11, 2013 2:31 am

The tyres are flat. The doors show signs of rusting. The shattered windows are lined with cobwebs.

Once used to ferry schoolchildren,in the last eight months or so the bus has made only the occasional trip — from the police station in Saket to a fast track court hearing the December 16 gangrape case and back to the police station,driven empty by a constable.

On Tuesday,when the fast track court pronounced four men guilty in the gangrape case,it was impossible to miss the sight of the bus parked among other vehicles at the Saket police station.

On December 16 last year,the four men — Mukesh Singh,Akshay Thakur,Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma — had savagely gangraped a 23-year-old paramedic student inside this bus.

Fifth accused Ram Singh was found dead in his Tihar jail cell in March this year. The sixth accused,a minor,was tried by the Juvenile Justice Board,which held him guilty on August 31.

The woman died of severe injuries at a Singapore hospital on December 29.

Now a case property,the bus was brought to the Saket police station from Vasant Vihar,where it had been parked after its seizure as it came under attack from angry protesters.

Passers-by point at the bus (DL 1PC 0149),parked under a peepal tree with ‘Yadav’ written on both sides,and say,“This is where it (the rape) happened.”

The rapists had tried to wipe off evidence inside the bus but forensic experts found strands of hair,blood-stained curtains and floor pieces and other evidence from the vehicle.

The bus,as the scene of crime,has been driven twice or thrice to the fast track court for the judge to examine it during the trial.

“I drove it to the court twice and another constable drove it the third time. We have been part of so many cases and,normally,driving this bus around,which is the scene of a crime,shouldn’t feel any different. But it does. Each time we take it out,we know all eyes are on this vehicle. Everyone knows this is where the horrific incident took place,” a constable said.

The bus was registered in the name of Dinesh Yadav,who was later arrested for giving false information to the state transport department for obtaining a registration certificate and permit for the bus for ferrying schoolchildren.

Shortly after the incident,the school that had hired the bus for ferrying its children terminated the contract.

In the coming years,the bus may be disposed of or probably returned to its owner.

But for now,each time one passes it one is reminded of the horrific December 16 night.

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