A 20-year-old woman has died two weeks after a horrific gang-rape by four men that left her paralysed with a broken spine in India.
The men reportedly attacked the woman near her home in the Hathras region, around 60 miles from Delhi, on September 14. The victim had been cutting grass near her home when she was dragged into millet fields where her attackers stripped and raped her.
The unnamed victim who had been on a ventilator in intensive care after the horrific rape attack died today. She was only yesterday moved from a hospital in upstate Uttar Pradesh to another one in the capital.
Speaking to NDTV, the victim’s brother said: ‘My mother, sister and elder brother had gone to a field to get some grass. My brother went home earlier with a large bundle of grass, while my mother and sister continued to cut them.
‘The women were a little far from each other. Four-five people came from behind, they threw my sister’s dupatta (shawl) around her neck and dragged her inside the bajra (millet) field.
‘My mother realised she was missing and went looking for her. My sister was found unconscious. They had raped her. The police did not help us initially… they did not take quick action. They acted only after four-five days.’
The four attackers are in custody and will now be charged with murder.
The Hathras district magistrate said today: ‘All four accused have been arrested. Under the SC/ST Act, her family has been given the financial support of Rs 10 lakh (£11,000), in total. Reports of her tongue being chopped off are not true.’
The woman’s brothers, who say the police only acted when the case became a national scandal, accused the uthorities of failing to move her to adequate medical facilities in time.
‘We were told that she would be taken to AIIMS (All India Institute Of Medical Sciences, New Delhi) but she was taken to Safdarjung,’ one of them told reporters.
‘Her condition was very bad. She was found in the bajra field, without clothes. Initially we even wondered if she was bitten by a snake. Three bones on her neck were broken. She had difficulty breathing… She needed oxygen right from the beginning. We reached here (Safdarjung Hospital) yesterday,’ another brother told the local press.
The police in Uttar Pradesh state denied the family’s claims with Hathras police chief Vikrant Vir saying: ‘This is a very unfortunate incident but we have been proactive in making arrests and helping the family in whatever manner possible. I will personally ensure swift investigation and that these men are tried in a fast track court.’
According to Daily Mail, around 300 protesters from the Bhim Army, a party championing the rights of Dalit community of which the woman was a member, went inside the premises of Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi to protest over the woman’s death on Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh said: ‘The incident is very saddening. Our government stands with the victim’s family.
Investigation started immediately and four accused have been arrested. Strict action will be taken. The law will take its course.’
‘There is next to no protection for women. Criminals are openly committing crimes,’ Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, a leader of the opposition Congress party, said on Twitter.