The young Indian woman who was gang-raped while riding on a bus through Delhi died early Saturday local time, losing the fight for her life to the terrible injuries suffered when she was beaten, raped, and eventually thrown from the moving vehicle.
India has been in the throes of widespread protests and international outrage since the brutal rape Dec. 16. The 23-year-old paramedical student was airlifted to Singapore Thursday for specialized treatment.
“We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4:45 a.m. on Dec 29, 2012 [3:45 p.m. EST on Friday]. Her family and officials from the High Commission of India were by her side,” Mount Elizabeth Hospital CEO Kelvin Loh said in a statement cited by Reuters.
“Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days. She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain. ... 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.”
Before her death, the young woman was forced to undergo three abdominal surgeries and had had a cardiac arrest. She also suffered brain damage and a major lung infection, making a ventilator necessary for her breathing.
Delhi had previously been called “the rape capital of India” and is seen as one of the most dangerous places in the world for women. Last week, police and protesters clashed in the city, Reuters reported.
On Dec. 16, the victim, who was riding with a male companion, was raped by at least four men while aboard a private bus. After the torture, she was thrown naked into the street.
So far, police have arrested six men, including the bus driver, in connection with the crime, but angry Indians have called for the arrest of the Delhi police chief and attacked the court system, which they say affords less protection to women than to men.