Delhi Gang-Rape Victim Suffers Brain Damage, Surviving Against The Odds: Singapore Hospital

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

A gang-rape victim from India’s capital city of Delhi has suffered a significant brain injury and is surviving against the odds, according to a hospital in Singapore where she is undergoing treatment.

"The patient is currently struggling against the odds, and fighting for her life," Chief Executive Officer of Mount Elizabeth Hospital Kelvin Loh said in a statement Friday.

The 23-year- old medical student was airlifted to Singapore Wednesday night for specialized treatment. The girl was brutally raped by five men and a juvenile in a moving bus in New Delhi Dec. 16. She sustained grave internal and external injuries and her situation was described as “extremely critical” by the medical team treating her.

"Our medical team's investigations upon her arrival at the hospital yesterday showed that in addition to her prior cardiac arrest, she also had infection of her lungs and abdomen as well as significant brain injury," Loh said, according to a Reuters report.

The victim underwent three major surgeries and lost her small intestine which was ruptured when the rapists assaulted her with an iron rod. She had been raped for more than an hour in the bus and the rapists had inflicted terrible internal injuries to her abdomen before throwing her out of the bus.

Despite the inhuman torture she suffered, the girl has shown an amazing courage and resilience in fighting for her life, according to the doctors who treated her at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.

The incident has triggered protests and public outrage over increasing sexual crimes against women in the country. Demonstrations turned violent in Delhi last week, with the police using force to disperse the protesters.  

The government, caught off-guard by the continuing protests, was forced to announce a series of measures to improve the safety and security of women in the country.

Breaking his silence on the issue Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the best possible medical care was being provided to the gang-rape victim and assured that the guilty would be punished as soon as possible.

"You have my assurance that our government is committed to bringing the guilty to justice as soon as possible," the Prime Minister told reporters, PTI reported.

Sonia Gandhi, the chief of the ruling Congress party , who was criticized for her silence on the issue, echoed concern over the issue Friday and said: "Our wish is that she recovers and comes back to us... and no time is lost in bringing perpetrators of the crime to justice."

Public Outrage Over The Crime Forces States To Act

Various state governments have taken initiatives to improve the safety of women in public places. The measures include increased police patrolling, sensitizing the law enforcement agencies on crimes against women, enhancing security in public transport system, placing CCTVs in buses and launching awareness campaigns.

The central government Thursday said a database of the rape convicts with their names and addresses would be created and made public. The government said an employer could verify the database before recruiting a person, the Times of India reported.

The Madhya Pradesh government issued directives Friday for reviewing and cancelling the arms licenses of the persons who were found guilty of crimes against women, the Economic Times reported. 

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