NEW DELHI – The 23-year-old Indian gang rape victim whose assault has sparked massive protests died early Saturday in a Singapore hospital, doctors said.
The woman, who was brutally raped and beaten by a group of men on a moving bus in the Indian capital on Dec. 16, had been flown to Singapore on Thursday.
The patient had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain, Kelvin Loh, the chief executive of Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said in a statement.
Her family was by her side when she died, Loh said.
“She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome,” the statement added.
The Indian High Commission in Singapore was working with the hospital and the Singapore government to make arrangements to send the woman’s body back to India, Times Now television reported.
The woman was assaulted for more than 40 minutes in a bus in New Delhi by a group of men. She and her male companion also were beaten with iron rods, stripped and pushed out of the bus.
The incident sparked huge protests in New Delhi with demands for quick trial of the alleged rapists and better safety for women in the city. More than 100 people were injured as police and protesters clashed on Sunday and one police officer died.
Six men, including the driver of the bus, have been arrested.
As questions were raised over the decision to shift the critically ill victim from a New Delhi hospital to Singapore, Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said it was purely a medical decision and rejected any political intention behind it.
The government has tried to stem public outrage by announcing a slew of measures, including better-lit roads in the Indian capital, more patrols by police, checks on bus drivers and phone help line numbers for women.
The government also has set up two committees under retired judges – one to look into raising the punishment for rape and other crimes against women, and the other to look into any lapses by the police or other government agencies leading to the Dec. 16 crime.
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