Delhi gang-rape: victim battles on, undergoes fifth surgery; doctors remove her intestine

Updated on Dec 20, 2012 02:04 AM IST

The intestines of the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in Delhi by a group of men on Sunday night have been removed in a two-hour surgery, doctors said today, adding that the victim is 'still critical'. Petition: swifter justice, strickter punishment | Victim conscious, fighting for life | Govt announces slew of steps

Agencies | By, New Delhi

The 23-year-old paramedical student, who was gangraped and tortured in a moving bus on Sunday night, today underwent fifth surgery and "continues to be critical but stable", doctors attending on her said.

Doctors at the Safdarjung hospital where she is undergoing treatment performed an elective abdominal surgery --gastronomy and duodenustromy -- and surgeons had to remove her gangrenous small intestine. They said she has lost most of her intestine.

"This was a planned surgery and at this juncture she is responding to treatment fairly well, she is stable but she continues to be critical," Dr B D Athani, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, said.

The girl, who remains on ventilatory support, was taken to operation theatre at 10 AM and was shifted to ICU at around 1 PM after surgery. Doctors said she had withstood the operation fairly well.

"She is fairly stable at this juncture and we have to wait and watch. We would observe for the stability for next few hours," she said.

"Before going for surgery, she was quite alert and spoke to her mother and brother as at that time there was no tube so she utilised that opportunity but her father didn't go inside," doctors said.

Athani said that yesterday also her level of alertness was good but today since she is recovering from anaesthesia, she is "not communicating nor are we are trying to communicate".

"Her abdomen has been cleaned and it has been closed today. Because most of the intestine, almost all portion, I would say, because of the initial loss and subsequent gangrene is not existent," he said.

Doctors said that Duodenum, which is the first part of the intestine, has been brought out of the stomach and a tube has been put into drain out whatever secretions are there.

She is being fed intravenously. She is getting feeding as well as antibiotics and all her essential drugs through intravenous route.

"With this, all that was to be done on emergency basis and all that could be done subsequently on elective basis has been done by our team of doctors who have been attending her since the time of admission," Athani said.

Doctors said they will wait and watch and hope that she does not develop further complications.

"Now it is a question of maintaining her in the ICU by providing her ventilatory support, which she already has and we hope she would become stable and we hope that she doesn't develop any complications which are anticipated in the injuries of this nature," he said.

Athani said that now no surgical intervention is to be done or are planned to be done in near future or in next one or two days or in one week.

"We have to wait and watch that the patient is stable within next few days. When we say she is stable it means her blood pressure, pulse rate, urinary output and respirations are within the acceptable range of normalcy," he said.

Asked about how she is faring, the doctor said "she is fighting with a good spirit. You know that even when she was brought to the hospital after around three hours delay she was alert, her level of consciousness was good. She and her friend had even given statement to the police."

The brutal rape and torture occurred Sunday night when the girl and her male friend boarded a private bus at Munirka in south Delhi to go to Dwarka in west Delhi after watching a movie.

The woman was beaten up and raped by around six men inside the moving bus.

'Hang me'

"Hang me!" So said an accused in the gang-rape of a young woman Wednesday in a Delhi court which sent him and two others to police remand after all of them admitted their involvement in the crime.

Vinay Sharma, 20, an assistant gym instructor, told the court that he had beaten up the gang-rape victim's male friend but did nothing with the girl and told Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Garg: "Hang me!"

Pawan Gupta, 19, confessed before the magistrate that he had done wrong with the girl.

Accused Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh, the brother of co-accused bus driver Ram Singh, in whose vehicle the crime took place, were presented in the Saket court.

Protests across Delhi

The capital witnessed several protests on Wednesday, including near the Delhi chief minister's residence and the police headquarters, as a 23-year-old victim of gang-rape fought for her life in a Delhi hospital.

Police sprayed water to break up a protest by students outside chief minister Sheila Dikshit's house. As the demonstration became noisier, police used water jets on young men and women who refused to budge from the spot.

The demonstrators said they were incensed over the horrific Sunday rape in a moving bus.

Another demonstration outside Delhi Police Headquarters ended peacefully after a group of women met Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.

Speaking later, Rajya Sabha member Jaya Bachchan told the media: "We have been assured that this case will be dealt with in a very, very severe manner."

About 150 women and college students who gathered outside police headquarters for nearly three hours demanded more police presence on roads and fast-track courts to prosecute rapists.

These protesters belonged to more than 20 women's groups and others. Their demonstration blocked traffic on an otherwise busy road.

"We want Delhi Police to follow a set of procedures and guidelines as conviction rates are very low when it comes to rape," said Sudha Sundararaman of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA).

"There is also an urgent need to set up fast-track courts to deal with rape cases," she said. "Such cases should be investigated and a judgment pronounced within six months."

Some women demanded that police should step up patrolling in the city, especially at night.

"Increased patrolling and deployment of police, including women, in public places so that such incidents can be prevented. We need standardised investigation procedures to be circulated to all police stations, with stern action against police personnel who do not implement them," said Sehba Farooqui, general secretary, Delhi AIDWA.

Assuring a strong action against the perpetrators, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said: "Women representatives from various organisations have demanded a monitoring committee to check crime against women. I think such a committee is needed. The committee will be headed by a nodal officer and women representatives from NGOs."

In Parliament, MPs condemned the barbaric act and demanded speedy justice in the case.

Women MPs of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) staged a sit-in protest in parliament against the central and Delhi governments over repeated instances of rape.

Students and women organisations also organised protests at Jantar Mantar and India Gate in central Delhi.

"Fie on Delhi Police, Delhi Police be ashamed of yourselves," the protesters shouted.

There were also protests outside Vasant Vihar police station, where the case has been registered and where students from JNU led the protests as well as Saket court where the accused were produced Wednesday.

The young woman who was raped by half-a-dozen men in a bus and then dumped on a road was battling for life at Safdarjung Hospital.

Doctors had earlier said the rape victim was in critical condition.

The women's group submitted a memorandum to Delhi Police saying: "We call on Delhi Police to ensure the immediate arrest of all the perpetrators, carry out efficient investigation and take measures for a speedy trial leading to stringent punishment for the culprits."

"This incident is a shameful pointer to the sad state of law and order and the general apathy, insensitivity that the system has towards women," it added.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 522 rape cases were reported in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) in 2011, the highest in any metro in the country. In 2012, over 650 rape cases have been reported in the capital so far.

Govt announces slew of steps

Stirred by Sunday's gang-rape, the government on Wednesday announced a slew of measures, including increased police patrolling and immediate crackdown on vehicles having tinted glass besides impounding of buses and autos being plied by unverified drivers.

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde announced the steps in Parliament where outrage and anguish continued to be expressed for the second consecutive day by members who demanded that government should instil confidence in women.

Making a statement in both Houses of Parliament, the second in two days, on the incident, Shinde said it has been decided to augment the PCR fleet of Delhi Police by providing more vehicles which would be GPS-enabled so that their movement can be tracked at the central control room.

There shall be immediate crackdown on buses having tinted glasses and curtains and all such vehicles will be impounded immediately, the Minister said after reviewing the situation with Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.

All commercial vehicles, including buses, will be asked to keep their lights on during night while plying in Delhi.

"All off-duty buses must be parked with their owners and not with their driver or staff," Shinde said.

Commercial vehicles including buses found violating the contract carriage conditions or any other permit conditions shall be impounded and their permits cancelled.

Police will undertake verification of drivers and staff of all public vehicles and all buses and autos being plied by unverified staff or drivers shall be impounded, said Shinde, who is directly responsible for law and order in the capital.

His response came as the issue kept reverberating in Parliament for the second day with members wanting to know what steps had been taken in the wake of the ghastly incident.

PM 'deeply disturbed'

Calling the Delhi gang-rape a very "disturbing incident", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday directed Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to ensure such cases do not recur.

Talking to a delegation of women MPs on the issue, he said: "It's a heinous crime. It is very disturbing."

Congress MP Renuka Chowdhary later told reporters: "The prime minister heard us for nearly 20 minutes. We discussed the need for fast-track courts for such cases. He said he is deeply disturbed and will do all that is possible."

Congress MP Mohsina Kidwai led the group.

The prime minister also told the delegation that he has directed the home minister to take all measures to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice and such cases do not recur, sources said.

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