Friend meets rape victim, tells her she will get better soon

Rape

Taken off the ventilator for the first time since she was brought to Safdarjung hospital after being gangraped and tortured last Sunday, the 23-year-old woman asked her family to call her friend who was also assaulted and thrown out of the bus with her. He came to the ICU around 9.30 pm Thursday and met her before leaving for his hometown Gorakhpur, her brother said.

"She said she wanted to see him once. He is not known to the family, so we did not call him. She kept requesting. We told the police and they finally brought him around 9.30 pm on Thursday," the woman's brother said.

"He was here with my mother for 15 minutes. My sister said he told her all the accused had been caught, and she was happy. We have been told to keep her cheerful. She said he told her she would get better soon," the brother said.

The woman's friend is a 28-year-old software engineer. He was badly beaten on board the bus while she was being gangraped. They were later thrown out of the bus. On Thursday, he went to Tihar Jail where he identified Mukesh, one of the six accused.

Although she has been taken off ventilator support, the woman's condition remains a concern. Doctors said her jaundice has increased, compromising liver function, and there has been a sharp drop in her white blood cell count, indicating increased infection in the body.

Dr B D Athani, medical superintendent of the hospital, said: "The total leukocyte count (TLC), which is basically a measure of white blood cells, has dropped to 1500 against a normal count of at least 4000. This shows that infection levels are rising and the body's immunity or ability to fight infection is down."

Dr M C Misra, AIIMS trauma centre chief who has been helping Safdarjung doctors, said: "That she is breathing on her own and is haemodynamically stable is a positive sign. Our biggest worry, however, is her compromised liver function and the drop in WBC count which can lead to more infection. The next three-four days will be very crucial."

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