India Gang Rape Victim Has Died, Says Hospital: Fresh Protests Feared
A 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped on a bus in Delhi and left with severe internal injuries has died, said an official spokesman at the Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore.
The victim arrived at the hospital — renowned for its state of the art transplant facilities — on Thursday, after being flown by air ambulance from Safdarjang hospital in New Delhi.
According to the BBC, a statement by Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth hospital’s Chief Executive officer, Kelvin Loh, said:
“”We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45am on 29 December, 2012 [4.45pm GMT Friday]. Her family and officials from the High Commission of India were by her side.”
“Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists 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. We are humbled by the privilege of being tasked to care for her in her final struggle.”
Since the December 16 attack, daily protests in New Delhi, Manipur, and other parts of India have brought women’s and student groups, and ordinary Indians together in calls for the government to address the endemic problem of sex crimes against Indian women, said the Associated Press.
The victim, who was travelling with a male friend, was raped by six men on a moving bus, beaten with an iron rod — it was then inserted into her body — before the couple were stripped naked and thrown off the bus while it was moving.
Six men have been arrested over the gang rape, and two police officers were subsequently suspended. An inquiry into these events is now underway and is being led by retired judge Usha Mehra, the BBC reported earlier in the week.
The young woman’s injuries were horrific. It was reported by The Press Trust of India (via The Guardian) that the victim was left with severe intestinal and abdominal injuries after the attack.
Earlier this week, Mount Elizabeth hospital said that the victim had suffered “significant brain injury,” said Reuters. She had already undergone three surgeries during her 10-day stay in Safdarjang hospital.
News of the student’s death comes just one day after Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh, India’s junior Home Minister, announced so-called “name and shame“ plans to post the names, addresses, and photographs of the convicted rapists on the Delhi Police website.
It is believed India will now be bracing for fresh protests in the wake of this tragedy with Delhi “on edge” since weekend clashes, The Guardian notes.