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Police deny slow reaction in gang rape

Jan. 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

NEW DELHI, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Police in New Delhi Saturday denied officers were slow to get a gang rape victim and her beaten friend to a hospital.

The male friend of the 23-year-old rape victim -- who was beaten and later died at a Singapore hospital -- said on television Friday police delayed taking them to a hospital for more than 2 hours as emergency vehicle personnel argue over jurisdiction, the Indo-Asia News Service reported.

Joint Commissioner of Police (South-West) Vivek Gogia told reporters the distress call came in at 10:21 p.m. Dec. 16 and two emergency vans arrived within 8 minutes, the Press Trust of India reported.

He said the pair were transferred to a hospital 26 minutes later, at 10:55 p.m.

"There was no issue over jurisdiction of the case as PCR vans do not operate under police stations and their operation is regulated by control room at police headquarters," he said, adding the timing was verified through global positioning system information.

The brutal beatings and gang rape, which took place on a moving, private bus, have led to public outrage across India, with calls for greater protection of women against sexual violence.

Five men have been charged with murder, rape and kidnapping in the case and authorities said they would charge a sixth suspect after determining whether he should be charged as a juvenile or an adult.

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