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Dec 29, 2012 at 11:19am IST

Delhi braveheart who was gangraped dies in Singapore hospital

New Delhi: The 23-year-old paramedical student, who was allegedly gangraped and brutally assaulted by six men inside a private bus in Delhi on December 16, has died. The student, who was airlifted from New Delhi to Singapore on December 26 as her condition showed no signs of improvement even after 10 days of treatment at Safdarjung Hospital, breathed her last on Saturday (December 29, 2012) due to severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain.

The braveheart died at 2:15 am Indian Standard Time at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital. "We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45 am on 29 Dec 2012 (Singapore time). 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," a press release by Dr Kelvin Loh, Chief Executive Officer, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said.

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According to the doctors at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital, the girl, before her death, had shown signs of severe organ failure despite the doctors putting her on maximum artificial ventilator support and optimal antibiotic doses.

The Indian High Commission said that her body would be flown back to India as soon as possible. "The girl's family is shattered by the development, but they at the same realise that the best possible medical attention was provided to her. In the end it was the scale of her injuries which proved too much for the medical treatment to overcome," said Raghavan. Her body has been sent for autopsy to Singapore General Hospital.

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Before being shifted to the Singapore hospital, the 23-year-old was being treated at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital with doctors performing multiple surgeries on her. However, despite all the efforts, her condition did not show much improvement and she succumbed to her injuries.

All the six men accused of brutalising the girl have been arrested and the case has led to nation-wide protests. The protesters have been demanding better security for women and girls, especially in Delhi which many point out is considered to be one of the most unsafe cities for women according to National Crimes Bureau records.

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She had remained on ventilator support for a long time at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, and then at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. Her intestines, which had been badly damaged and were infected as a result of the assault, had to be removed surgically.

Following the news of the braveheart's death, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his condolence message said: "I want to tell them (girl's family) and the nation that while she may have lost her battle for life, it is up to us all to ensure that her death will not not have been in vain." He said the need of the hour is a dispassionate debate and inquiry into the critical changes that are required in societal attitudes.

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Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit also expressed her deep grief on the 23-year-old's death saying it was a moment of shame for her government. President Pranab Mukherjee, in his condolence message, said he was "deeply distressed by the unfortunate demise of the 23-year-old girl". "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," he added.

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