After battling for life for 13 days, the 23-year-old Delhi girl, who was
gangraped in a bus, died here early this morning leading to a massive outpouring
of grief across India as she was hailed as "daughter of the nation".
The girl, who was admitted to the well-known multi-organ transplant facility
Mount Elizabeth Hospital here on Thursday morning in an extremely critical
condition, breathed her last at 4:45 AM (2:15 AM India time). She was earlier
treated at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.
Six suspects involved in the rape and brutal assault on her would now be tried
for murder charges, which involves death penalty in rarest of rare cases.
The body of the victim, accompanied by her family, would be flown by a Special
Air India chartered aircraft to India around midnight (9:30 PM IST Saturday).
The mortal remains may be taken straight to her home town of Ballia in Uttar
Pradesh in keeping with the family's wishes for a private funeral tomorrow
"We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45am on
29 Dec 2012 (Singapore time)," the hospital's Chief Executive Officer Dr Kelvin
Loh said in a statement.
"Her family and officials from the High Commission of India were by her side.
The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family
in mourning her loss," the statement said.
As an outraged nation empathised with the gangrape victim, peace marches and
candle light vigil were taken out across India while heart of New Delhi -- India
Gate and Raisina Hill -- was shut down for protesters.
Death for rapists and stringent laws to deal with aggravated sexual assault were
a common demand by the women and men across India who identified themselves with
the victim and the family.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and a host of political leaders condoled the
death of the girl and hailed the brave fight the victim put up against the
bestial elements who assaulted her.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who had earlier came under attack for not
connecting with the protesters last week, was booed and heckled when she went to
Jantar Mantar to show solidarity with a big crowd of mourners.
Indian High Commissioner T C A Raghavan told reporters that the family was yet
to decide on the plans for the last rites back home. The family has requested
that their privacy be respected in their hour of grief, he said.
He said the girl fought a brave battle till the end and that the final few hours
was a trying time for the girl's family. They bore the entire process with a
great deal of fortitude and courage, he said.
President Mukherjee led India in mourning the death of the girl and described
her as the "brave daughter of India" and that all steps to bring the
perpetrators of this "ghastly crime" to justice should be taken.
"She was a brave and courageous girl who fought till the very last minute for
her dignity and her life. She is a true hero and symbolises the best in Indian
youth and women...The nation will mourn the passing of this brave daughter of
India," the President said in his condolence message.
Prime Minister Singh expressed the hope that the entire political class and
civil society will set aside narrow sectional interests and agenda to make India
a demonstrably safer place to live in.
The Congress President said the fight of nation's "beloved daughter" will not go
in vain, promising "swift and fitting punishment" to perpetrators as well as
stringent laws for women protection.
In New Delhi, police invoked murder charges against the six men allegedly
involved in the gang-rape and said it will be their endeavour to ensure the
"harshest punishment in the book" to the culprits.
"We hope to file the charge sheet by the 3rd of January 2013. Section 302 of IPC,
which is the penal section for murder, has been added in the case," Dharmendra
Kumar, Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), said.
The autopsy of the victim was done by a Singaporean Medical Team and the report
will be made available to investigators at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Strait Times reported that the casket hearse carrying the gang rape
victim left its Geylang Bahru premises at 8.50 pm local time. Her body was
embalmed at a funeral parlour in Singapore.