When South Block went on an overdrive to shift victim

Before zeroing in on Singapore as the destination for the gangrape victim's medical treatment, the government was looking at three possible locations — Germany, UK and Singapore — and the Indian missions in these three countries were alerted by South Block on Wednesday morning.

Foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai is learnt to have got a call from the highest levels on Wednesday morning, around 9 am, that the medical team was contemplating that the woman could be shifted to any of these three countries.

Mathai is understood to have made phone calls to all the envoys in the UK, Germany and Singapore and asked them to establish contact with the relevant hospitals.

The woman and her family did not have passports, so the Regional Passport Officer was told to get them ready within hours. The RPO went to the woman's family members and helped them put their documents together, got their photographs clicked and biometric done on the spot.

By afternoon, it became clear that the destination would be Singapore, as the medical team had zeroed in on a particular doctor, known to have specialised in dealing with such cases.

South Block then got overflight clearances from the countries, which fell on the flight path. With no details of the aircraft still available, the civil aviation agencies of these countries were contacted, and the Civil Aviation ministry was involved in getting clearances.

By evening, the passports of the victim and the accompanying family members were printed, but the visa was still not done. The Singapore foreign ministry was contacted and they waived the visa formalities.

The Indian High Commissioner T C A Raghavan was told to arrange accommodation for the family. The High Commission was asked to give the best possible accommodation available, and a diplomat was designated to be with the family.

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