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A woman who survived a brutal gang-rape on a bus in India has died, according to reports. Earlier Friday, hospital officials in Singapore, where the 23-year-old student was being treated, had warned that her condition was worsening.
Her case has become a rallying point in India, where masses of demonstrators have expressed their revulsion over the violent attack, as well as what NPR's Julie McCarthy earlier today called "simmering rage over the prevalence of sexual violence in India. There were some 228,000 crimes last year against women, up from the year before."
Police say that six men attacked the woman, a student, on a public bus on the night of Dec. 16. She was raped, beaten, and assaulted with an iron rod. A male friend was also beaten. Both were reportedly stripped naked before being dumped on the side of the road, the AP reports.
The six men who were arrested on suspicions of conducting the attack have not yet been charged with a crime.
The woman underwent several surgeries in the days since the attack. After she arrived in Singapore Thursday, doctors say, they tried to cope with her deteriorating condition. A statement from the hospital said that "in addition to her prior cardiac arrest, she had infection of her lungs and abdomen, as well as significant brain injury."
Update at 5:35 p.m. ET. Statement from the hospital.
Singapore's Straits Times quotes hospital chief executive Dr. Kelvin Loh as saying, "We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45am on Dec 29, 2012 (Singapore time)."
Loh added that members of the woman's family, who had traveled with her from India, were by her side when she died.
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The woman's transfer to Singapore had caused alarm in New Delhi, where she had been receiving treatment following the attack. As Voice of America reports:
"Dr. Samiran Nundy, chairman of the organ transplant and gastro-surgery department of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told The Hindu the transfer of the critically-ill woman from an Indian hospital where she received good care made little sense and 'seems more of a political move.'"
In India, government officials promised this week that they would get justice for the woman. As Julie reported this morning, "the government said it will consider changing the law to allow for the death penalty in certain instances of rape."
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