Rape victim loses battle for life, outpouring of grief across India

FP

Days of outrage gave way to grief and more anger across India after the 23-year-old woman, gangraped and tortured on board a bus in south Delhi twelve days ago, lost her battle for life in a Singapore hospital early on Saturday.

A special Air India aircraft sent by the Indian government left Singapore with her body around 10 pm India time Saturday, and was expected to arrive in Delhi around 3 am on Sunday. Her family is returning with her.

Indian High Commissioner T C A Raghavan told The Sunday Express that the family and a representative of the mission were by her side in the final hours before the end came at 2.15 am India time.

Dr Kevin Loh, CEO of Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said: "Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate... she suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain. She was courageous in fighting for life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome."

Her brother told The Sunday Express: "My lovely sister is no more. We are in shock, the grief is beyond imagination... I don't know how we will survive without my sister."

President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and leaders across parties mourned for the woman and promised swift justice. The six men who were arrested for raping and attacking her with rods and blades on December 16 have now been charged with murder.

Delhi Police said Supreme Court lawyer Dayan Krishnan has been appointed special public prosecutor, and the police would seek the "harshest punishment in the book" during the trial that is expected to begin early next month.

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