SINGAPORE — The Indian gang-rape victim whose assault in New Delhi triggered nationwide protests died in hospital today of injuries suffered in the attack, a Singapore hospital treating her said.
The death of the 23-year-old medical student could spawn new protests and possibly fresh confrontations with the police, especially in the Indian capital, which has been the focus of the demonstrations.
“We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4:45 a.m. on Dec 29, 2012. Her family and officials from the High Commission of India were by her side,” Mount Elizabeth Hospital chief executive officer Kelvin Loh said in a statement.
The woman, who was severely beaten, raped and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi, was flown to Singapore by the Indian government on Wednesday for specialist treatment.
Most rapes and other sex crimes in India go unreported, and offenders are rarely punished, women’s rights activists say. But the brutality of the assault on Dec. 16 triggered public outrage and demands for better policing and harsher punishment for rapists.
The case has received blanket coverage on cable television news channels. The woman has not been identified but some Indian media have called her “Amanat,” an Urdu word meaning “treasure.”
On Friday, the hospital had reported that the young woman’s condition had taken a turn for the worse. It said that her family had been informed and were by her side.
T.C.A. Raghavan, the Indian high commissioner to Singapore, said after her death that the family has expressed a desire for her body to be flown back to India.
Some Indian medical experts had questioned the decision to airlift the woman to Singapore, calling it a risky manoeuvre given the seriousness of her injuries. They had said she was already receiving the best possible care in India.
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