INDIA'S BRAVEHEART DIES ~ A girl's journey from gang rape, assault, removal of intestines, ICU and death.
Delhi: On 16th December 2012 a twenty-three year old paramedical girl was gang raped by six men at 9.30pm in a moving bus in southern part of Delhi while her male friend was assaulted with iron rods and held captive in the driver's chamber for resisting it. The six men raped the girl one by one and assaulted her with iron rod delivering life threatening injuries to her internal organs and the vagina. After raping her brutally, one of the men inserted a very long rod in her vagina which has ruptured her intestines and nearly left her dead. Naked and seriously injured, she was thrown off from the moving bus near a fly over by the rapists who fled in the bus which was meant for school children.
On that fateful night the miscreants had a party where they cooked some chicken and drank liquor. These men then decided to go for a 'joy ride' at night and picked up passengers on the way to earn an 'extra buck' to buy more liquor to consume. It was then the girl and her male friend got up on the bus to head for Mahavir Enclave where the girl lives. They had gone to watch a movie in Saket Mall and were returning after it. The duo took the bus from Munirka which is considered by those who live in the city as a safe and crowded place.Police sources say the girl and the boy were given proper bus tickets after which an argument over why she was out with a man late in the night ensued and the men on the bus decided to "teach her a lesson." They began to misbehave to which her male friend resisted and was beaten up and whisked off from the crime scene.
The girl was lying in the middle of the road nude and seriously injured. Not a single person helped or covered her . When the police came in, no one helped them pick her up. The girl bore injuries on her skull, small and large intestine were ruptured ,vagina totally damaged and her whole body bore injury marks after being assaulted by the iron rod and a blunt object. On being brought to the Safdarjung Hospital the hospital spokesperson said, " This was not just rape, There is permanent damage to her vital organs. If she survives this, then multiple surgeries have to be performed to repair the damaged organs. " She has gone to coma six times from 16 December. After two days in yet another surgery that took two hours, almost the entire intestines of the girl have been removed. The attending doctor said ,"They had become non-viable and prone to gangrene."
He added, " This is one of the most tragic incidents we have ever seen. The young girl is in a critical condition fighting for her life. She is complaining of excruciating pain in her back though we have given her morphine!" Medically speaking, her condition is no better. If it stabilizes doctors say they will then work on looking at compensating the loss of intestinal processes and other injuries. For now she is lying somewhere in a cold hospital Intensive Care Unit, kept away from her family, loved ones ( for fear of infection) and people who could have made her feel better in such a trying time. The hope of her parents and younger siblings who were all looking ahead to a better life after she completed her internship in the capital and began to support a family of humble means, is not in a position anymore to fulfill that dream and time will tell what will happen to her own future, if she lives.
While the struggle to save her has been going on every minute since she was brought to the city hospital, there in the heart of Delhi thousands of people have poured down on the streets and raised their voice against this atrocity, louder and clearer than ever heard before in this country against rape! Women and girls are in the front of these marches and they are clearly shaken, angry, impatient with the system and the hopelessness in it to deliver a solution but most of all they are scared. Till yesterday it was limited to groping, pinching, lewd remarks and gestures, eve teasing and newspaper headlines of rape day after day in the city ,and next came the statistics that every 40 minutes a girl is raped in Delhi but now it was getting more than it was comfortable to accept it or remain quiet over over it. We have borne enough.
Every citizen of India has had enough with under manned police staff which is mostly assigned on VIP duty; the long drawn out cases in the court and still lower conviction rates for rapists; the miniscule punishment term of seven years and fine which doesn't serve as any deterrent to criminals and the victim blaming value system of the society who point fingers at the chastity of the girl. The mass protests are getting bigger, louder, clearer and more violent. "We want a solution", one protestor carried a play card . Doing enough is not enough anymore!
Four out of the six men have been arrested while the hunt for the others is on. Many sections of the society are demanding that the rapists be given capital punishment for this heinous crime while women's groups say that this might actually increase the risk for women, as murder and rape will carry the same maximum punishment, rapists will be tempted to kill their victims in order to obliterate the eye witness. Chemical castration, as practiced in many other countries is a recommendation where rapists are made to take anti androgen drugs which reduces sex drive, compulsive sexual fantasies and the capacity for sexual arousal. Life sentence and bobbitization are other popular punishment recommendations from the people.
But conviction comes later, and in most rape cases in India the major challenge is the long drawn out court procedures that takes years to come to a finality. By that time the case loses its teeth, the victim the motivation to seek justice and the witnesses mostly turn hostile. The low conviction rate in rape cases and the miniscule punishment term of seven years is no deterrent for the male dominated stiff patriarchal psyche of such criminals and violators of modesty of a woman. If there is something concrete that should be done to put a stop to the rising crime against women in India the law against rape will have to be stringent and we need fast track courts to speedily conclude the case. More and more measures are being discussed at the top level and parliamentarians in Delhi are coming up with solutions as increasing the police force to monitor every nook and corner of the capital, stepping up the number of police control room (PCR)vans for better vigilance,arm buses with CCTV technology and so on but whether the action plan will deliver women from this onslaught on her safety is yet to be seen.
While the law against rape is being amended, the fast tract court becomes a reality, the police force is being stepped up for better vigilance and support, parliamentarians argue among themselves, discuss and make it a political issue, while all the protestors turn violent outside Rashtrapati Bhawan and get assaulted by the 'lathis' (a thick wooden stick used by policemen on duty in India)and the entire nation participates in the online poll as to what should be the punishment for the rapists, the girl in Safdarjung Hospital Intensive Care Unit wakes up every now and then,and cannot stop herself from crying." I want to live," she tells her mother. Every now and then she scribbles on the note pad, inquiring about the condition of her male friend who had been through the ordeal with her and complains of excruciating pain.
For now her struggle is to stay alive.
29 Dec 2012
After twelve days of courageously fighting for her life and after multiple organ failure one-by-one, the Delhi gang raped girl who was holding on a thin thread to survive breathed her last today in Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital . She died due to multiple organ failure in the well-known multi-organ transplant hospital where she was flown in an air ambulance from Delhi on 27 Dec. She was brought to Singapore for being provided good medical treatment. In the flight to Singapore the girl's health deteriorated with her blood pressure dropping alarmingly. En route she suffered a severe cardiac arrest and severe damage to her brain. The fluids had begun to accumulate in her lungs which could not be drained out because of complications.
Dr Kelvin Loh from Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore told in his press statement-"She was conscious and fought a brave fight till the last."
Following her death a mass protest is soon going to begin from Jantar Mantar in Delhi, and I wonder if the peaceful protest rally will turn out without any incident in peace when the outrage in the entire country is so heightened. The Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit came to Jantar Mantar at 2 pm today to light a candle in the memory of the departed, but her presence made people around her angry. She was rushed out with the help of her security and reports says she was mobbed by the protestors. This clearly shows the anger of the people against any government representative based on the sadness of the death of the rape victim.
The mass protest in Delhi today and the public outcry is certainly not a woman's movement, not anymore.This is India's rise against dormant political class and the system. Justice today is the unifying force among people of a nation of 1.2 billion divided by a caste system. Resting on the promising shoulders of 'young India' this protest is not surely a two-day event. It is a struggle that promises to 'not forget her rape, her fight to stay alive and her death'.The six men who gang raped the girl are now charged with murder, after her death.The political class of India are under fire now. The pressure now mounts on the government.
The Delhi girl may have passed away but she has ignited a million hearts, and now people want a CHANGE and on their terms.
** The footage of the protest over the rape which turned violent making police use tear gas and 'lathi charge' on the protestors (22 December 2012, Delhi)