Gang-rape victim dies, India mourns, people unite in protest

Saturday, December 29, 2012
Delhi gang-rape provoked nationwide outrage [Photo©] 
New Delhi: The 23-year-old paramedical student, whose gang rape on a moving bus galvanized outrage through India, succumbed to her grievous injuries on Saturday in a Singapore hospital.

Here in the Indian Capital government has appealed for calm and vowed that that those guilty of the murderous assault will be severely punished.

“I join the nation in conveying to her family and friends my deepest condolences at this terrible loss. I want to tell them and the nation that while she may have lost her battle for life, it is up to us all to ensure that her death will not have been in vain,” Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was quoted saying by a government release.

The girl, who was admitted to the well-known multi-organ transplant facility Mount Elizabeth Hospital here on Thursday morning in an extremely critical condition, breathed her last at 4:45 a.m. local time (2:15 a.m. IST). She was earlier treated at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.

The body has been moved to the mortuary in the Singapore General Hospital for completion of some formalities since she is a foreigner, sources said.

The family of the girl wants the body to be taken to India, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore T.C.A. Raghavan told reporters.

Reportedly, a special plane is being sent from Delhi to collect her body and family. It is expected to land in Delhi tonight.

After the monstrous attack on her on December 16, a grid of anger and grief fastened cities across India.

Meanwhile, the President of India Pranab Mukherjee has appealed the nation to maintain peace and clam.  

“I request everyone to maintain peace and calm and call upon the authorities to take all necessary steps to bring the perpetrators of this ghastly crime to justice,” Pranab was quoted saying in a government press release.

From past 13 days, the student was fighting for her life. She endured three major surgeries, brain injury and a cardiac arrest at a Delhi hospital before experts decided to move her in an air ambulance to Singapore on Tuesday night.

The government has vowed to amend criminal laws to include the death penalty for extreme cases of sexual assault.

Trial in this case is likely to begin on January 3; the government has promised daily hearings to ensure a verdict is delivered quickly.

In Delhi, five fast-track courts will start functioning in January with daily hearings for all rape cases. Measures to make public transport safer at night for women are being debuted.

Bracing for a new wave of protests, the authorities have ordered to close 10 metro stations till further notification and banned vehicles from some main roads in the heart of New Delhi, where demonstrators have converged since the attack to demand improved women's rights.
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