Tuesday 19 November 2019

Indian gang-rape victim dies of injuries in hospital

A girl holds a placard as she takes part in a protest rally in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.
A girl holds a placard as she takes part in a protest rally in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

Heather Tan Singapore

THE Indian gang-rape victim whose assault in New Delhi triggered nationwide protests has died in a Singapore hospital from injuries suffered in the attack.

The 23-year-old, who was severely beaten, raped and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi, was flown to Singapore by the Indian government on Wednesday for specialist treatment.

Her horrific ordeal sparked Indians to demand greater protection from sexual violence that impacts thousands of women daily, in homes, streets and public transport, but which often goes unreported.

"We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully. Her family and officials from the Indian embassy were by her side," Mount Elizabeth Hospital chief executive Kelvin Loh said in a statement.

"The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss," Mr Loh added.

He said the woman had remained in an extremely critical condition since Thursday.

"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. 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."

The woman and a male friend, who have not been identified, were travelling in a public bus after watching a film on the evening of December 16 when they were attacked by six men who took turns to rape her. They also beat the couple and inserted an iron rod into her body resulting in severe organ damage. Both of them were then stripped and thrown off the bus, according to police.

Indian police have arrested six people in connection with the attack, which left the victim with severe internal injuries, a lung infection and brain damage. She also suffered from a heart attack while in hospital in India.

Indian ambassador TCA Raghanvan, pictured, told reporters that the scale of the injuries she suffered was "very grave" and in the end it "proved too much.

Following the horrific attack, thousands have attended demonstrations to demand the death penalty for rape.

But Indian attitudes are so entrenched that politicians have often suggested that women should not go out at night or wear clothes that might be seen provocative.

Irish Independent

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