An Indian female student, who was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi, has died at a Singapore hospital. The 23-year-old had arrived in Singapore on Thursday after undergoing three operations in a Delhi hospital.
The attack earlier this month triggered violent public protests in India that left one police officer dead. As news of the student’s death spread across social media in India, police sealed off large parts of central Delhi and appealed for calm.
The 23-year-old was airlifted to Singapore on Thursday after she was attacked by six men on a bus in New Delhi on December 16, raped, hit with an iron bar, and thrown from the vehicle.
“She passed away peacefully with her family and officials of the Indian embassy by her side,” said Dr. Kevin Loh, the chief executive of Mount Elizabeth hospital where she had been treated since Thursday. “The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss,” he said in a statement.
Six men have been arrested and two police officers have been suspended following the 16 December attack.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said, “It would be a true homage to her memory if we are able to channelize these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action. The need of the hour is a dispassionate debate and inquiry into the critical changes that are required in societal attitudes.”
He further stated, “The government is examining… the penal provisions that exist for such crimes and measures to enhance the safety and security of women. I hope that the entire political class and civil society will set aside narrow sectional interests… to help us all reach the end that we all desire – making India a demonstrably better and safer place for women to live in.”
The frightening nature of the crime shocked Indians, who have come out in their thousands for almost daily demonstrations, demanding stronger protection for women and death penalty for rape, which is now punishable by a maximum life imprisonment.