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Gang rape victim dies

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 15: The 16-year-old gang rape victim from Rayagada district, who was taken to a private hospital in Vishakhapatnam for better treatment by the state government, died today.

The orphan, whom four youths raped on January 2, had attempted to immolate herself for being unable to bear the shame.

The victim, who was living with her grandmother and running a petty shop, had doused herself with kerosene and attempted to end her life. She had sustained 80 per cent burn injuries.

Her plight had triggered a wave of public sympathy, angst and agony. Moreover, the incident hogged the media as it had taken place in the aftermath of the Delhi gang rape incident. Lawyers of the town have decided not to appear on behalf the four accused.

The alleged criminals had assaulted her and broken her limbs. District police immediately arrested all the accused persons.

Though the incident took place on January 2 at Anjipeta in Rayagada, it became public after four days of the incident. On January 8, she was shifted to Vishakhapatnam for better treatment.

Rayagada district collector Sashi Bhusan Padhi said: We are in touch with our counterparts for the post-mortem of the body. Steps are being taken to bring the body here for the cremation.

The State Commission for Women chairperson Lopamudra Buxipatra said: I am shocked to hear her demise. I cant believe that the girl will die. I will urge the government to speed up the trial, so that the accused are punished within a stipulated time frame.

Expressing concern over her death, chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced Rs 10 lakh ex gratia for her family.

In the wake of the incident, the state government had decided that all chargesheets related to crime against women would be filed within 60 days.

Any victim can file her complaint in any police station across the state.