Indian gang-rape victim dies in Singapore

Singh has ordered to make new laws to protect women as well as stiffer penalties for the worst sex crimes.


Afp December 29, 2012
In this photograph taken on December 16, 2012, Indian activists listen to a speech outside Delhi's chief minister residence during a protest in New Delhi, following the gang-rape of a student on December 16. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE: An Indian gang-rape victim died Saturday in Singapore after suffering severe organ failure, the hospital treating her said, in a case that sparked widespread street protests over violence against women.

Authorities in India have been preparing for the possibility her death could ignite more protests after riot police were deployed on the capital's streets in the wake of the attack amid simmering anger at the daily dangers women face.

The 23-year-old was airlifted to Singapore on Thursday after she was attacked by six men on a bus in New Delhi on December 16, and hit with an iron bar. Some Indian medics had criticised the decision to move her.

"We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45 am (2045 GMT) on 29 Dec 2012," Kelvin Loh, the chief executive of Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said in a statement.

"Her family and officials from the High Commission of India were by her side. The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss."

She had remained in an extremely critical condition since being admitted to the hospital, Loh said, with doctors mounting a last-ditch battle overnight to save her life.

"Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days," Loh said.

"She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain. She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome.

"We are humbled by the privilege of being tasked to care for her in her final struggle."

The victim was treated in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital after the attack.

The decision to fly her out of the country by air ambulance was taken at a meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's cabinet on Wednesday and the government had promised to pay all her medical bills.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government's only concern was to ensure the victim received "the best treatment possible".

But Indian newspapers suggested the authorities, who have struggled to contain the nationwide protests over the attack, were keen to have her transferred out of the country.

An unnamed doctor who was part of a team of experts consulted about the transfer told The Hindu newspaper they had only been asked whether it was safe to move her and not whether it was the best course of action.

"The question was not whether there were any deficiencies in treatment that would be met by moving her... She was being given the best possible care," the doctor was quoted as saying.

Samiran Nundy, chairman of the organ transplant and gastro-surgery department of Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told the paper the transfer made little sense.

"I just can't understand why a critically ill patient with infection in blood and body, high grade fever and on the ventilator is being transferred," he said.

Singh has ordered an official inquiry into the gang-rape and new laws to protect women as well as stiffer penalties for the worst sex crimes.

The government has also announced plans to post the photos, names and addresses of convicted rapists on official websites to publicly shame them. The campaign will begin in Delhi, which has been dubbed India's "rape capital".

Shinde also said Delhi police would soon launch a drive to recruit more female officers as a confidence-building measure.

India was rocked by a wave of protests in the week after the attack, prompting authorities to seal off large parts of the capital and to deploy riot police with water cannons tear gas.

The Delhi gang-rape has shone the spotlight on a crime that occurs on a daily basis in India, with most such assaults taking place in rural areas.

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COMMENTS (57)

Preeti | 8 years ago | Reply

Shame to be an Indian, Thank god she died after Fighting so badly or else she couldn't see herself and wouldn't believe that those beast had done such thing, then they are not getting punished still, inspite knowing that she has done nothing but paid her life for this brutally and shame crime.

I know the government won't be taking any strict action beacuse if they had to take they would have taken earlier but its been two weeks government still thinking. Shame very Big shame!!!!!!!

Cynical | 8 years ago | Reply These civil societies and assorted NGOs protesting on the street, bashing politicians, police, court, films, adverts and whatever is not going to change anything. Those who participate in these gatherings know that as well. But they are also under a compulsion to tell, more to them than to the world at large, that they are not a part of the problem, but if anything, a victim of the same. That’s self serving at the best and delusional at the worst. The problem is with us, and within us. Just to give an idea of how deep it runs into the sub-continental male psyche, it is worth mentioning that quite a few female protesters were groped by some male participants in the crowd. The change has to begin at home. That’s where it comes from. A good starting point would be, if parents, specially mothers and grandmothers should stop pampering the male child since birth. Stop all sorts of subtle and obvious favouritism towards them at the expense of their female siblings. It will be of great help if children can be kept away from regressive and downright sexist text found in the scriptures of many a religion. But that would be asking for too much from most people in sub-continent. All of these instill among the male Childs, a false sense of superiority and empowerment, over the members of supposedly weaker sex and by extension over their body. He will carry this mindset throughout his life. If and when he feels an urge to do it and thinks that he can get away with it, he will overpower a woman physically or mentally each and every time. Of course there will be exceptions, but as the saying goes, ‘Exception proves the rule.’
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