Indian gang-rape victim moved to Singapore

Protests that have been sparked by brutal rape of a 23-year-old student are expected to continue in New Delhi.

    An Indian student who was left in a critical condition after being brutally gang raped on a bus in New Delhi has arrived 
    in Singapore for treatment at a leading hospital.

    The 23-year-old student was airlifted to Singapore on Thursday and immediately admitted to the Mount Elizabeth hospital, known widely for multi-organ transplant facilities.

    The hospital said in a statement that she was admitted to the intensive care unit "in an extremely critical condition."

    It said "she is being examined and the hospital is working with the Indian High Commission (embassy)."

    Press Trust of India quoted New Delhi hospital medical superintendent, BD Athani, as saying on Wednesday night that the woman suffered severe intestinal and abdominal injuries.

    She underwent three surgeries and parts of her intestines were removed, he said.

    He said the Indian government, "based on the advice of a team of doctors,'' made arrangements for her to be shifted to Singapore's Mount Elizabeth hospital because it has state of the art multi-organ transplant facilities.

    More protests

    Al Jazeera's correspondent Divya Gopalan reporting from New Delhi said that new protests were scheduled in the capital on Thursday and would fall under a banner called "Justice for Women Now".

    Organisers said they wanted to depoliticise the protests and announced that they would march from the designated protest area to Delhi Gate, which has been cordoned off, effectively defying government orders, our correspondent reported.

    "Whatever we do now is intended to demonstrate the government's serious intent in the matter that we will apprehend and punish the perpetrators, we will try and find out what went wrong... and fix responsibility and amend the laws."

    - Finance Minister P Chidambaram

    The Indian government on Wednesday ordered a special inquiry into the gang-rape of the student which has drawn mass outrage in India.

    Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who is also the government's top spokesman, said a retired judge, Usha Mehra, had agreed to head a commission of inquiry.

    The inquiry would "identify the lapses if any on the part of the police, or another authority or person that contributed to the occurrence, and fix responsibility for the lapses or negligence", he said.

    Chidambaram also said a separate panel would examine existing legislation and "suggest changes in the laws in order to make punishment for such horrific crimes stiffer".

    The panel will submit its report in 30 days, he added.

    "Whatever we do now is intended to demonstrate the government's serious intent in the matter that we will apprehend and punish the perpetrators, we will try and find out what went wrong... and fix responsibility and amend the laws."

    The gang-rape has sparked huge protests across the country, including New Delhi where thousands, mainly students and youth, gathered in front of the presidential palace demanding swift action from the government.

    The government has been criticised for using force against the mostly student protesters many of whom were severely injured.

    About 200 people took part in a new demonstration on Wednesday on a boulevard in central Delhi - including women and school children - where they shouted anti-government slogans.

    Death of policeman

    The government's decision comes amid huge controversy over the death of a police constable who died after he collapsed during the protest at India Gate monument.

    Eight people have been charged in connection with the death of the policeman, but civil society groups say the constable died of heart attack even as post-mortem report is yet to be out.

    The 47-year-old police constable, Subash Tomar, was cremated with full state honours on Wednesday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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