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Indian Rape Victim Dies in Singapore Hospital

  • VOA News

Demonstrators hold placards as they take part in a protest rally in solidarity with a rape victim from New Delhi in Mumbai, December 27, 2012.

Demonstrators hold placards as they take part in a protest rally in solidarity with a rape victim from New Delhi in Mumbai, December 27, 2012.

The Indian student who was brutally gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi has died in a Singapore hospital.

A statement from the Mount Elizabeth Hospital said the 23-year-old "died peacefully" early Saturday.

The hospital CEO, Dr. Kelvin Loh, said the doctors had fought "for her life including putting her on maximum artificial ventilation support, optimal antibiotic doses as well as stimulants which maximize her body's capability to fight infections." The unnamed victim's family members were by her side.

The woman was traveling with a male companion on a charter bus in the Indian capital December 16, when a group of men on board beat them both with an iron rod, raped her and then threw them from the bus.

Police arrested six alleged attackers, who are accused of rape and attempted murder.

The woman was airlifted to Singapore from a New Delhi hospital on Wednesday, a move that drew criticism from medical experts in India.

Dr. Samiran Nundy, chairman of the organ transplant and gastro-surgery department of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told The Hindu the transfer of the critically-ill woman from an Indian hospital where she received good care made little sense and seemed more of a political move.

Medical experts who were consulted by the government before the woman's transfer told the Indian newspaper that they were only asked if it was safe to move the victim, not if it was medically advisable.

A member of the Indian team who cared for her, Dr. Mahesh Chandra Misra with All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told The New York Times that the woman's injuries were severe and that she was "practically dead" when she was brought into Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke out on the case again Friday, saying he and the leader of the ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, "share the anguish and anger of the country over this heinous crime." He also said the government is "committed to bringing the guilty to justice as soon as possible."

The government on Wednesday announced a commission that will review police response to the attack, while another panel is tasked with suggesting ways to make the capital safer for women as well as changes to the law to create stiffer penalties for such crimes.

In northern India, officials say a 17-year-old Indian girl from Punjab state who was gang raped in November has killed herself after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers.

Before her death Wednesday, there had been no arrests in her case. Officials say three people were arrested on Thursday.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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