Outpouring of Grief in India As Delhi Braveheart Dies
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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 morning.

"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.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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