Gangrape victim being flown to Singapore

Delhi

In a last ditch effort to save the life of the 23-year-old woman who was gangraped and tortured on board a bus in south Delhi, doctors and authorities today decided to fly her to a hospital in Singapore. On Wednesday evening, an air ambulance was being readied to fly her out of Delhi.

Earlier in the day, doctors at Safdarjung hospital, where she has been admitted ever since she was dumped by the roadside after being gangraped, cancelled the daily media briefing on her condition. Policemen were seen escorting her family members who have been at hospital since the incident.

Sources said Dr Naresh Trehan, leading cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeon, was called to Safdarjung hospital to examine the woman following complications. Hours later, an air ambulance was being readied to fly her to Singapore where she is likely to be taken to Mount Elizabeth Hospital, the sources said.

The woman's condition continues to be critical. On Tuesday, her statement was recorded for the second time in a week after Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wrote to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that the sub-divisional magistrate who had recorded the victim's initial statement had complained of "interference" from police. Although police commissioner Neeraj Kumar rejected the charge, the woman's statement had to be recorded afresh by a judicial magistrate.

Doctors were reluctant to again put her through the strain of recording a statement. "We were not very keen when this second request was made to record her statement all over again. Her health is much more fragile, compared to last week, and she is on ventilator. Even the first time, the family was not very keen, and had refused an on-camera statement. Since investigation officers insisted, we did not have a choice. But we went for a second psychological assessment to make sure she was alright," a doctor said.

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