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Crime

India rape victim's condition deteriorates

The condition of the Indian medical student, gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi, has deteriorated. She is being treated in a Singapore hospital.

The 23-year-old was gang-raped and assaulted for an hour on a bus in New Delhi ten days ago. She was transferred for specialist treatment to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore where her condition has deteriorated.

"Her family members have been informed that her condition has deteriorated and they are currently by her side to encourage and comfort her," a hospital spokesman reported. But there are signs her vital organs have failed. She has suffered significant brain injury, and the hospital said she was surviving against the odds.

The six men responsible for the rape attack in Delhi, after which they threw her off the bus, included a bus driver, a vegetable seller and a gym assistant. They had grown up in deeply conservative parts of rural India before moving to the capital.

The rape has triggered widespread protests and calls for ensuring the safety of women who are subject to sexual harassment ranging from groping to rape everyday across India. In a separate incident on Wednesday a 17-year-old who was gang-raped committed suicide after she was pressured by police to marry one of her attackers.

Government debates measures

Government and police met to discuss proposals to tackle such crimes against women, including the 'naming and shaming' of offenders. The minister of state for home affairs, RPN Singh told reporters: "We are planning to start the process [of identification] in Delhi," he said. "Photographs, names and addresses of the rapists will be uploaded on the Delhi police website also."

The chief minister of West Bengal state unveiled plans on Friday for 65 all-female police stations to deal with crimes against women. "Ten of these stations are already functioning," Mamata Banerjee, the leader of the Trinamool party, told a rally in the north of the state. Women currently account for less than one in five Indian police officers.

Despite police and government intentions to act, further cases of sexual attack and gang rape have been reported.

jm/ccp (Reuters, AP)