Delhi gang rape victim dies in Singapore hospital after multiple surgeries and 'severe organ failure'



Protesters demonstrated for government action against sexual assault at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, following the death of the victim of a vicious gang rape that has sparked a nationwide debate on violence against women.


Jason Overdorf

An Indian woman violently gang-raped aboard a bus in Delhi has died in a Singapore hospital.

"The patient passed away peacefully at 4:45 am on 29 Dec. 2012," a statement from Mount Elizabeth Hospital said, according to BBC News. The 23-year-old's family had been by her side, it added.

The woman arrived in Singapore on Thursday, having already undergone three operations in a hospital in Delhi.

"The patient had remained in an extremely critical condition since admission to Mount Elizabeth Hospital," a statement from hospital chief executive Kelvin Loh said, according to the BBC.

"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. We are humbled by the privilege of being tasked to care for her in her final struggle."

On Friday evening local time, the woman had taken "a turn for the worse," according to doctors treating her in Singapore.

More from GlobalPost: To stop rape in India, start at the top

The woman had suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday evening, her lungs and abdomen were infected, and there were signs of "significant brain injury," according to Loh.

The victim was left "practically dead" after the Dec. 16 attack, one of the surgeons who treated her in Delhi, Mahesh Chandra Misra, told The New York Times' India blog. Most of her intestines had to be removed after they were found "hanging out" of her body, he said.

"As doctors, we've never witnessed anything like this," Misra commented.

The woman was raped by several men for nearly an hour, beaten with an iron rod and cut with a knife before being dumped on a roadside in south-west Delhi, after she and a friend sought to take a private bus home from a movie theater.

The incident triggered mass street protests, during which one police officer died. According to the Times of India, the government is concerned that any decline in the victim's condition could worsen the unrest.

More from GlobalPost: India: Protests for women's safety rattle Delhi (PHOTOS)

Indian authorities have announced various legal and security measures in a bid to be seen to be tackling India's rape crisis, including a plan to publicly name and shame rapists.

Yet the knee-jerk reactions have so far failed to address broader cultural problems, according to GlobalPost's Jason Overdorf — for example, the fact that "every major political party has fielded and continues to field candidates facing criminal charges for rape, harassment and other crimes against women."