Indian Bus Gang-Rape Victim Succumbs to Her Injuries

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Singapore/New Delhi – A 23-year-old student gang-raped while on a bus in the capital, Delhi, earlier this month (Dec.16) died at a Singapore hospital on Friday according to the attending doctors.

The female student was shifted to Singapore earlier this week for further treatment, officials had said. The victim – who remained on life support – was being treated at a specialized facility in Singapore after being airlifted from Delhi.

“We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45am on 29 Dec 2012 (Singapore time). 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,” read the statement attributed to Dr Kelvin Loh, Chief Executive Officer, Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

“The patient had remained in an extremely critical condition since admission to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in the morning of 27 Dec (Singapore time). Despite all efforts by a team of 8 specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days,” said the statement.

“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,” noted Loh in his statement.

“We are humbled by the privilege of being tasked to care for her in her final struggle. We acknowledge the faith the Indian Government and the patient’s family have placed with us to ensure the best care possible was indeed provided to her at Mount Elizabeth Hospital,” Loh said, adding, “We share their huge sadness at her passing and will work with the High Commission of India to provide the family support in this time of grief.”

The gang rape in a speeding bus sparked angry protests in India. Six people, including the bus driver, have been held in connection with the rape. Violence in clashes between protesters and the police in Delhi left one policeman dead and injured more than 100 people.

The victim and her friend had been to see a film when they boarded the bus in the Munirka area, intending to travel to Dwarka in south-west Delhi.

Police said she was raped for nearly an hour, and both she and her companion were beaten with iron bars and thrown out of the moving bus into a Delhi street. 

Moreover, Indian federal government on Wednesday (Dec. 26) ordered an investigation into the gang rape and gave a retired judge responsibility to “identify the lapses” on the part of authorities and “fix responsibility” according to the announcement made by the Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

The minister announced that retired judge Usha Mehra would head a commission of inquiry into the incident. The probe would “identify the lapses, if any, on the part of the police, or another authority or person that contributed to the occurrence, and fix responsibility for the lapses or negligence”, Chidambaram said.

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