x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Indian gang-rape victim moved to Singapore for treatment

A young woman who was gang-raped and assaulted on a moving bus in the Indian capital was flown to Singapore today for treatment of severe internal injuries that could last several weeks, officials said.

SINGAPORE // A young woman who was gang raped and assaulted on a moving bus in New Delhi was flown to a Singapore hospital yesterday for treatment for severe internal injuries, officials said.

The 23-year-old student, who is in critical condition, arrived in Singapore on an air ambulance and was admitted to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital, renowned for multi-organ transplant facilities. Her stay at the hospital could last several weeks.

The hospital said that she was admitted to the intensive care unit "in an extremely critical condition", adding "she is being examined and the hospital is working with the Indian High Commission".

The rape of the woman and her brutal beating on December 16 triggered widespread protests in the Indian captial and other parts of the country and led to calls for the death penalty for the perpetrators of rape. The crime is presently punishable by up to life in prison.

All six suspects in the case have been arrested.

The Indian High Commission, said it has received "many offers to help" the woman, who is "receiving full medical attention". Her family is also being provided all assistance by the embassy, it said.

The near-daily protests in the heart of New Delhi following the rape have been frequently quelled by police using tear gas and water cannons. One policemen died of injuries suffered in the clashes.

Police said the victim was traveling with a male friend in a bus when they were attacked by six men who took turns to rape her.
The men also beat the couple with iron rods, stripped them of their clothes and threw them off the bus on a road. They were found by bystanders before being rushed to New Delhi's Safdarjang Hospital. The bus, which was empty except for the attackers and the couple, drove through the city for hours during the assault, even passing through police checkpoints.

The Press Trust of India said the Indian government will bear all expenses of the woman's treatment. Doctors have described her as "psychologically composed and optimistic about the future".

It said her condition worsened late on Wednesday after her pulse plummeted briefly, and that periodic bouts of infection were also a source of concern.

India's prime minister Manmohan Singh promised "expeditious" prosecution of the six held for raping the student.

Addressing state chief ministers in the nation's capital at a conference yesterday, Mr Singh said his government would examine current laws and punishments for aggravated sexual assaults, urging provincial officials to ensure safety of women across the country.

Another gang rape case was reported yesterday as the cabinet appointed a retired judge of the Delhi High Court to conduct an inquiry and fix any lapses in the system.

"In this particular case, the law will deal with them expeditiously," Mr Singh said

* Associated Press and Bloomberg News