Singapore, Dec 29 (PTI): The 23-year-old victim of the brutal gang rape and assault in Delhi that had triggered an outrage across India died early Saturday morning here after putting up a brave battle for life for nearly a fortnight.
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 AM (2:15 AM India time). She was earlier treated at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.
”We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45am on 29 Dec 2012 (Singapore time),” the hospital's Chief Executive Officer Dr Kelvin Loh said in a statement.
”Her family and officials from the High Commission of India were by her side. The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss,” the statement said.
The body has been moved to the mortuary in the Singapore General Hospital and will be flown back to India by a chartered plane. Accompanied by her family, the body is expected to arrive in Delhi in the night.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of political leaders condoled the death of the girl and paid rich tributes to the victim of the sexual assault for her brave fight.
The girl was raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus by six men in Delhi on December 16 and thrown out along with her companion.
Indian High Commissioner T C A Raghavan told reporters that the family was yet to decide on the plans for the last rites back home.
He said the girl fought a brave battle till the end. She was brought to Singapore for being provided good medical treatment.
The envoy “The family is shattered by this development. At the same time, they realised that best possible medical attention was given. And in the end it was the scale of injuries that proved too much for the medical attention provided to her”.
He said the final few hours was a trying time for the girl's family and they bore the entire process with a great deal of fortitude and courage.
Raghavan said he has passed on the condolence message of the Prime Minister to the family in which he had spoken of the desire to make India a demonstrably better and safe place for women to live in.
Raghavan said the High Commission has received numerous messages from various quarters including the Singapore government deeply mourning the death.
He appreciated the help extended by the Singapore Foreign Ministry, the government and the Mount Elizabeth Hospital for all their support in the last two days.
Replying to questions on the shifting of the girl from Delhi to Singapore, he said consultations were held between doctors of Safdarjung hospital and Mount Elizabeth Hospital and they must have given full thought to it before taking it.
Asked whether doctors felt that she could have died to her shift from Delhi to Singapore, Raghavan said, “no such sentiments was expressed to me. Both the doctors (P K Verma of Safdarjung and Yatin Mehta of Medanta Medicity) said she was very badly injured in the assault of December 16 night”.
He said the best possible treatment was given to the girl in Delhi and in Singapore and the cause of her death was “the injuries she sustained”.
”All possible medical efforts were made to treat the injuries. The efforts were not successful in helping her to overcome the injuries,” he said.
Declining to go into the details of the family, he said they had requested that the privacy of their identity be protected.
During her treatment in Safdarjung Hospital, the girl's condition had recorded several ups and downs. Three days after the attack, her gangrenous intestine was removed.
The beastial attack on the girl and her male friend in the bus had sparked off protests by students and women activists, which took a violent turn in the capital last Saturday and Sunday.
Death for rapists was one of the demands of the protesters and the victim's demise could trigger fresh display of emotions on the streets.
One of the Delhi police constables Subhash Chand Tomar died in a government hospital on Tuesday and the post-mortem report had said that he had suffered a cardiac arrest from complications arising out of injuries on his chest and neck.
Shaken by the public outrage, government constituted a Commission of Inquiry into the incident and also set up a three-member Committee under former Supreme Court Chief Justice A S Anand to look into the possibility of rewriting the laws relating to aggravated sexual assault and enhancing penalty for it.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi had yesterday demanded speedy action against the perpetrators of the “barbarous” attack while Prime Minister said the government was committed to bringing the guilty to justice as soon as possible.
Scores of people on Saturday mourned in silence the death of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim and demanded stringent punishment for the culprits.
People started gathering at Jantar Mantar here at around 10 am and sat in silence.
Aam Aadmi Party leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas also joined the protest along with some of their supporters with their mouth tied with black cloth.
Aam Aadmi Party National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “her death is a matter of shame and sorrow for all of us. Let's resolve that we will not let her death go in vain.
”Aren't we all responsible for her death? Can we all now do something so that half of humanity starts feeling safe amongst us?” he said.
The mourners protested against the security lock down of India Gate and Raisina Hill where violent demonstrations were witnessed last weekend over the rape.
”The government is not even allowing mourning of the death. This is insensitivity. There is complete lock down. You have the metro stations shut. You have a road completely blocked. This is undemocratic,” a protester Sunil said.
Sisodia said the government was muzzling the voice of people by shutting Metro and closing down India Gate.
In a statement, AAP said the girl, who became the symbol of women’s insecurity and their courage, is no more.
”This is a moment of national grief. This is also a moment of national shame. We, as a nation, have failed to provide conditions in which women can lead a normal life without being subjected to indignities. We, as a society, have failed to evolve a culture of respect and equality for women.
”This event and the subsequent developments have no doubt generated widespread outrage and justified anger. But today we must convert this into a positive resolve. Let us all resolve that we shall convert this moment into a movement to end all forms of violence against women. Let No Violence Against Women be our national new year's resolution,” it said.
In tweets, activist Kiran Bedi said, “today is a day of reflection and personal audit on the way we as parents and teachers are grooming boys in this country.
”Today is day of mourning on lives we have lost because of failure of our criminal justice system and resolve to not fail it in future. Today is a day to also reflect the way we project our women in media,” she said.