NEVER AGAIN Shame­ful: Govt locks down city de­spite peace­ful protests MUR­DER CHARGE

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Team DNA NEW DELHI/ MUM­BAI Money Sharma, Anirud­dha Ra­jen­dekar & He­mant Padalkar DNA

Forty min­utes of hor­ror and 13 days of a des­per­ate bat­tle for life ended in the early hours of Satur­day when the 23- year- old gang- raped by six men on De­cem­ber 16 breathed her last in a Sin­ga­pore hospi­tal.

An of­fi­cial state­ment is­sued by Dr Kelvin Loh, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Mt Elizabeth Hospi­tal, said she had passed away due to multi- or­gan fail­ure due to “se­ri­ous in­juries to her body and her brain”. He also added that “she was coura­geous” in fight­ing for her life for so long against the odds “but the trauma to her body was too se­vere”. Ac­cord­ing to hospi­tal au­thor­i­ties, she had been sink­ing ever since she ar­rived in the city- state. She had al­ready suf­fered two car­diac ar­rests on De­cem­ber 26 when the government de­cided to send her on a seven- hour flight to Sin­ga­pore. An in­fec­tion- in­duced swelling of the brain led to a multi- or­gan fail­ure that fi­nally claimed her life.

The news of her death had al­ready been sent by the In­dian High Com­mis­sion to the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice that held an ur­gent meet­ing. With the government wor­ried at the prospect of a re­peat of the protests that rocked Delhi last week, a de­ci­sion was taken to lock down the na­tional cap­i­tal. By morn­ing, cen­tral New Delhi be­came a fortress with scores of com­pa­nies from the Delhi po­lice and the Cen­tral Re­serve Po­lice Force de­ployed in full bat­tle- gear to en­sure that pro­test­ers did not The six sus­pects would now be tried for mur­der charges, which in­volves death penalty in rarest of rare cases The charge- sheet in the case will be filed on Jan­uary 3, po­lice said reach In­dia Gate or the seat of government in South and North Block. Ten metro rail sta­tions were shut to keep the pro­test­ers away. Peo­ple were asked for their iden­tity cards to en­ter the for­bid­den zone as the news spread.

The government dis­patched an Air In­dia Air­bus A319 to bring back the 23- year- old’s body along with her fam­ily. It flew out of Delhi's Indira Gandhi In­ter­na­tional Air­port at 8am with four government of­fi­cials, the pi­lots and the cabin crew. The body is ex­pected to ar­rive around 3am on Sun­day.

As the news of her death spread, pro­test­ers braved the cold and headed to­wards Jan­tar Man­tar to ex­press their out­rage and shock. Spon­ta­neous anger on so­cial me­dia sites like Twit­ter helped peo­ple get to­gether in cities like Mum­bai when peo­ple gath­ered in huge num­bers at Juhu beach, Shivaji Park and Ban­dra Band­stand to protest against her death. Sim­i­lar protests were seen in Pune, Ban­ga­lore and other parts of the coun­try. Pro­test­ers de­manded that there was need for sys­temic re­form and new laws to en­sure that this never hap­pened again.

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