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Delhi rape victim continues to be critical; HC orders daily trial in sexual assault cases

Source : AGENCIES
Last Updated: Sun, Dec 23, 2012 15:41 hrs
Girl gangraped in moving bus in South Delhi

New Delhi: The 23-year-old victim of a brutal gangrape was on Sunday put back on the ventilator and her condition remains critical, though she is conscious and communicating, doctors said on Sunday.

The young woman, who was subjected to savage torture and rape by six men a week ago, underwent a minor surgical procedure where her abdomen was given a "wash" and the fluid that had collected was drained, a team of doctors said in a bulletin on the patient's health condition.

The woman's platelet condition has dipped further, from 41,000 in the morning to 19,000 in the evening - an indication of infection in her blood.



"She has now a platelet count of 19,000... her platelet count is fluctuating, and we gave her two units of platelets," said a doctor,

"And because she was in distress, she is back on ventilation support," the expert added.

The patient had shown signs of "breathing distress" due to which she was put through an ultrasound and a CT scan, which showed collection of fluid in her abdomen.

"The ultra sound and CT scan showed fluid collection and we decided to do a thorough wash with antibiotics and put a drain, to check infection and to drain out whatever fluid is collecting," said a doctor.

"She is fully conscious and communicating," said one doctor, adding that the woman was being "made to sit up, and given a sip of water.. we are also doing exercises of her lower limbs and other physiotherapy".

The doctors reiterated that the young woman is still in the critical period of health, "the critical period is not over yet".

The doctors said the woman was given anaesthesia and put on the ventilator before being given the abdomen wash.

"We plan to electively continue with the ventilator..we feel it will help improve her condition...We expect improvement, but she continues to be serious and may need further investigations," the doctor said.

Rape victim given symbolic name 'Damini'

The 23-year-old has been named "Damini" by thousands of people who are supporting her on the streets and via social networking sites. The name draws inspiration from a Hindi film on a woman's fight for justice for a rape victim.

Outside Safdarjung Hospital, where the girl is battling for life after her brutal gang-rape by six men in a moving bus in south Delhi Dec 16, people gathered Sunday with placards that said "Damini tum sangharsh karo, hum tumhare sath hain" (struggle Damini, we are with you).

"Damini" was a Hindi film, released in 1993, featuring a woman's struggle against society and her family for justice for a rape victim.

While police fired tear gas shells and used water cannons against protestors at India Gate in central Delhi on Saturday and Sunday, at Safdarjung Hospital children were seen leading the protests, holding placards demanding speedy justice.

In a corner was a chart paper put up by some student-groups for messages for the victim.

One of the messages on the chart demanded that the accused be handed over to the public. Another one asked for castration of the accused while one more sought death penalty for the rapists.

High court orders daily trial in sexual assault cases

Voicing concern over the gang-rape of a woman in Delhi, the Delhi High Court on Sunday issued directions to additional sessions judges to have daily hearing in cases of sexual assault. Five fast track courts will also come up.

"The administrative committee of the Delhi High Court has resolved to direct additional sessions judges that cases of sexual assault on women will be tried on day-to-day basis from the date of commencement of the trial," the high court said.

The administrative committee headed by the chief justice has accepted a proposal of the government to establish five special fast track courts for dealing with cases of sexual assault on women and taken steps to establish such courts immediately after the winter vacation, it said.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Dec 19 had forwarded a proposal to set up five special fast track courts.

Taking suo moto cognizance of the Dec 16 gang-rape in Delhi, a division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw earlier told police to file a status report.

You don't have street trials: Khurshid

Referring to the issue of governance and law and order thrown up by the recent case of gang-rape in the capital, Khurshid expressed strongly against street trial of the perpetrators of such horrific crimes.

"Now I cannot tell you how much one feels for every such individual (victim). I think that you would be inhuman if you could not feel for such individual. But my training, our understanding of the constitution and rule of law of governance tells us that you don't have street trials," Khurshid said.

Retired SC judge to examine rape case?
 
A senior Delhi Police officer on Sunday said it was likely that a retired Supreme Court judge would be appointed by the UPA Government to chair the judicial commission that has been tasked with the responsibility of examining the country's laws related to rape.

Speaking exclusively to ANI TV, Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dharmendra Kumar said: "A retired Supreme Court judge will be looking into case of the Delhi gang-raped victim."

Kumar further said: "We have met all their (agitating public's) demands. Therefore, we request the people to protest peacefully."

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