Indian rape victim dies from injuries

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The Associated Press

SINGAPORE -- A young Indian woman who was gang-raped and severely beaten on a bus in New Delhi died Saturday at a Singapore hospital, after her horrific ordeal galvanized Indians to demand greater protection from sexual violence that impacts thousands of women every day.

The woman had 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.

He said she had remained in extremely critical condition since Thursday when she was flown to Singapore from India. "She had suffered from severe organ failure after serious injuries to her body and brain," Loh said. "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."

The woman and a male friend, who have not been identified, were traveling in a public bus on the evening of Dec. 16 when they were attacked by six men, who raped her. They also beat the couple, leaving her with severe organ damage. Both were stripped and thrown off the bus, police said.

Indian police have arrested six people in connection with the attack.

Indian High Commissioner, or ambassador, T.C.A. Raghavan told reporters that arrangements were being made to take her body back to India.

The crime shocked Indians, who have come out by the thousands for almost daily demonstrations, demanding stronger protection for women and the death penalty for rape, which is now punishable by a maximum life imprisonment.

Women face daily harassment across India, ranging from catcalls on the streets, groping and touching in public transport to rape. But the tragedy has forced India to confront the reality that sexually assaulted women are often blamed for the crime, which forces them to keep quiet for fear of exposing their families to ridicule.

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