23 year old girl Nirbhaya (name given by Times of India) , who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in New Delhi died early Saturday, 02:15 IST (04:15 Singapore time). Dr. Kevin Loh, CEO Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore said, “She passed away peacefully. The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss.”
The woman died due to cerebral edema, serious swelling of the brain, which culminated in cardiac arrest on Tuesday night when she was still in India. Brain edema is a condition in which water content in the brain rises causes increase in skull pressure. This leads to depletion of oxygen leading to death of brain cells.
The woman had been in extremely critical condition since Thursday when she was flown to Singapore from India for advanced medical treatment. A medical authority noted, “Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days. 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.”
On the fateful evening of December 16 2012, Nirbhaya, a para-medic student and her male friend were travelling in a public bus after watching Life of Pi in a suburban theater in Delhi. They boarded the bus where six men took turns raping her and assaulting her friend in Mahavir Enclave area. Then they beat the couple with iron rods and inserted an iron rod into her body causing severe organ damage. Both of them were then stripped and then thrown off the bus, at Mahipalpur in South Delhi on Sunday night according to police statement. The six people, alleged to have committed the rape, were arrested.
The woman was left with severe internal injuries, abdominal injuries, brain damage and lung infection. She also suffered heart attack when she was in hospital in India. The days following the act were met with severe demonstrations as people came to streets violently protesting for death penalty for rape. Women in India, particularly Delhi, face several sexual harassment right from catcalls, lecherous touches to rape. The condition is worsened when police is known to play down the issue and the court cases drag on for years.
The protests that followed resulted in the death of police constable. It is even embarrassing that some politicians and policy makers go on to the extent of saying that women should not wear clothing that are seemingly provocative enough to invite rape. On Friday, Abhijit Mukherjee, son of India’s president Pranab Mukherjee went on to call the protestors ‘highly dented and painted’ for some women who go from discos to protests.