Live: Candlelight vigils held in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 14:00 hrs

7.25 pm:

Candlelight vigils held in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore

Thousands of people held candlelight vigils across the nation in solidarity with the Delhi gang-rape victim. Thousands gathered in Jantar mantar in Delhi and in Juhu beach in Mumbai. Vigils were held in Kolkata and Bangalore also.

Several celebrities - Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar - also joined the vigils.

6.25 pm:

Special Public Prosecutor in gang-rape case named

Senior lawyer Dyankrishnan will be the Special Public Prosecutor in the case of brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving.

Dyankrishnan, eminent lawyer and a counsel in Delhi High Court, has himself volunteered to do it free of cost, a Delhi Police statement said here.

He will be assisted by two juniors.

Investigators said they will file the chargesheet in the court on January three.

Police have slapped murder charges as well as sections 201 (destruction of evidence), 365 (kidnapping or abducting), 376 (2)(g) (gang rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 394 (hurting in committing robbery) and 34 (common intention) of IPC.

The girl, who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted allegedly by six men in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, died early this morning in a Singapore hospital.

6.00 pm:

Bangalore women's rights group organizes candlelight vigil

Vimochana, a women's right organization is holding a candle light vigil in memory of the Delhi gang-rape victim in Bangalore tonight. All those interested in participating can gather at the Freedom Park for the candle light vigil at 7 pm.

Contact for further details - +91-80-25492783, 782, 781

5.30 pm:

The body of the Delhi gang-rape victim has left Singapore in a chartered Air India flight. Her family is accompanying her.

5.10 pm:

People queue up at Indian High Commission in Singapore

People began to queue up Saturday outside the Indian High Commission in Singapore following the death here of an Indian woman who was gang-raped and tortured in New Delhi and who was flown here for treatment.

Lines of people formed as the news of victim's death spread, Straits Times reported.

Some just huddled for silent comfort and others to sign a condolence book that had not yet been opened, the report added.

The Indian High Commission is on Grange Road, which is walking distance from the Mount Elizabeth Hospital where the 23-year-old victim was admitted after she was airlifted from the Indian capital Thursday. The woman was raped Dec 16.

4.41 pm:

Gang-rape victim took tuitions to pay for her education

The Delhi "braveheart" who died Saturday came from a humble family originally from Uttar Pradesh and took tuitions to pay for her school and college fees.

Born into a family from Ballia, the young woman, family friends said, was hard working and desired to forge ahead in life.

The sources close to the family said they moved to the national capital a quarter century ago. It settled in a middle-class neighbourhood in southwest Delhi where she was born 23 years ago.

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4.25 pm:

Rape protesters in Bihar demand death for rapists

Hundreds of people, many of them young students, hit the streets here Saturday to mourn the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed his condolences over the death of the young woman. He cancelled a planned visit to Rajgir in Nalanda district to mourn her demise.

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad also expressed grief over the death and demanded stringent law to punish rapists.

Holding banners and placards, the protesters demanded that the accused in the case be given death penalty.

"Only death penalty to all accused will do," said Vanita Kumari, a college student and a protester.

Dozens of activists of Left parties also took out a silent march demanding changes in existing rape laws.

3.56 pm:

Mamata for stringent laws against rape

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday called for amending criminal laws to ensure stringent punishment for rape in the wake of the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim.

"It (crime against women) is a serious problem and I feel criminal laws are old and weak. Though amendment is a central subject, we will provide all cooperation," she said.

"The centre must ensure that the culprits are severely punished. I feel there is a need to amend criminal laws and bring in more stringent punishment for the offence of rape," she said.

"Though women are more vulnerable in rural areas, there is hardly any instance of rape in such places. But in urban areas, rapes and crimes against women have been rising.

"I feel society needs to be more responsible. The awareness level also needs to be increased so that such incidents do not recur," she said.

3. 20 pm:

Gang-rape victim a martyr for cause of women's safety: NCW

Calling the 23-year-old gang-rape victim a "martyr" for safety of women, the National Commission for Women (NCW) today asked both civil society and the government to work together to stop such crimes in the future.

NCW chairperson Mamata Sharma said the civil society should also assist the government in amending laws related to sexual assault on women.

"The young girl is martyr in the name of women's safety. Everyone, the government and the civil society should work together and help in amending laws relating to sexual assault against women," she said.

It was the duty of everyone to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future, she said.

The paramedic student, who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted by six men in a moving bus on December 16, died "peacefully" at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore where she was airlifted on Wednesday night.

Her condition took a turn for the worse last night and she passed away in the wee hours today due to multiple organ failure.

2.35 pm:

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who was at Jantar Mantar to express her solidarity with the protesters who are mourning the death of the 23 year old rape victim was at the receiving end of their wrath.

Unhappy protesters blocked her way and her security personnel had to quickly take her away from the spot according to reports.

2.05 pm:

AI plane chartered to bring back victim's body

An Air India aircraft has been chartered by the government and sent to Singapore to bring back the body of the gangrape victim and her family members here.

The chartered plane, an Airbus A-319, left the IGI Airport at 8 am for Singapore and expected to return around 8 pm tonight after taking off from there around 1700 hours local time, Air India officials told PTI.

The aircraft is carrying some senior government officials, including those from the Union Home ministry.

1.40 pm:

Dikshit wants restrictions on peaceful protests lifted

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has asked Home Minister SushilKumar Shinde to lift restrictions on holding peaceful demonstration in memory of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim in and around India Gate.

Anticipating protests, police had closed the area around India Gate and Raisina Hills for the public besides putting barricades on all roads leading to the two places.

"The Chief Minister feels there should not be any restrictions on holding peaceful demonstrations in and around India Gate," highly-placed sources said.

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1.10 pm:

BJP's student wing asks students not to celebrate New Year

The student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) -- on Saturday appealed to all students to remain calm and not resort to creating a law and order situation because of the death of the 23-year-old victim of the December 16 gang rape incident in a hospital in Singapore.

It also called on the student community to express solidarity with the dead woman's family by not celebrating New Year this year, but rather raise their voices against injustices such as rape, besides working for improved security for women.

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12.30 pm:

Bollywood reacts to gang-rape victim's death

The young woman whose brutal gang-rape in New Delhi triggered nationwide protests, died in a Singapore hospital early on December 29.

While thousands came out on the streets to voice their anguish, Bollywood stars took to Twitter to express their anger.

Here's what they had to say:

Akshay Kumar:
Our fighter lost the battle of life. Her only fault, she ventured out of the house at night, walking the streets of the national capital expecting to be safe.

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11.45 am:

Decision to send rape victim to Singapore not political, says Shinde

Government today maintained that the decision of airlifting the Delhi gang-rape victim to Singapore was in the interest of the patient and not a political decision.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government decided to send her abroad following the advice of doctors in Safdarjung Hospital, where she was treated before being flown out to Singapore, AIIMS and Dr Naresh Trehan, chief of privately-run Medanta Medicity.

"It was not at all a political decision. It was in the interest of the patient we had taken the decision," he said when asked whether political compulsion forced the government to send the 23-year girl to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore where she passed away this morning.

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11.10 am:

Rape victim's death exposes sexual violence in India, says Human Rights Watch

The death of the Delhi gang-rape victim in Singapore Saturday "is a sobering reminder of the vast tragedy of sexual violence in India", Human Rights Watch said.

The death of the 23-year-old "follows the suicide of a 17-year-old after police failed to act on her complaint of rape", said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

"This is not an isolated incident," Ganguly said in a statement.

"The outrage now should lead to law reform that criminalises all forms of sexual assault, strengthen mechanisms for implementation and accountability, so that victims are not blamed, humiliated or suffering silently.

"It is much harder, but ultimately more effective, to revamp the response of police, doctors, forensic specialists, prosecutors, and judges to sexual violence.

"Victims deserve an effective, coordinated response to sexual assault," she said.

10.25 am:

Rape victim's family hopes death will make India safer for women

The distraught family of the young gang-rape victim hopes her death will contribute to making India a safer place for woman, an Indian diplomat said Saturday.

Indian High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghavan said the family was "deeply affected" by the death of the woman who was brutally raped and tortured in a moving bus in Delhi Dec 16 and left to die by a roadside.

But the family was also moved by a large number of messages of support they had received from everywhere, Raghavan told the media.

"They hope that the death of their child will lead to a better future for women in Delhi and India," he quoted them as saying.

The gang-rape victim was shifted out of Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital to Singapore Thursday in a desperate bid to save ber life after she suffered multi-organ failure.

9.40 am:

The Delhi police has announced that peaceful protests will be allowed at Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan. Delhi has now become a fortress of sorts with India Gate and Raisina Hill being cordoned off and a tight security cover being provided at the residences of the PM, Delhi CM and Home Minister.

9.00 am:

10 Metro stations closed down in Delhi

Ten Metro stations in Central Delhi were closed down today for an indefinite period as a precautionary measure by Delhi Police to prevent agitators from reaching India Gate to protest the death of the gang-rape victim.

All the stations which were locked down are close to India Gate and Raisina Hills, the epicentre of the protests against the brutal assault of a girl last week.

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8.35 am:

Delhi Police to invoke murder charges in rape case

Delhi Police will invoke murder charges against the six men allegedly involved in the gangrape and brutal assault of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus after she died in a Singapore hospital 13 days after treatment.

A senior police official said as soon as they get the official report from the hospital, they will slap murder charges against the accused who were nabbed after the December 16 incident.

Police had initially booked the six men under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 365 (kidnapping or abducting), 376 (2)(g) (gang rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 394 (hurting in committing robbery) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

Read more

8.20 am:

Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Delhi has condoned the death of the Delhi gangrape survivor. "She shook our conscience. Our hearts are burning with grief and shame," said Dikshit.

She also appealed for calm.

7.45 am:

Doctors defend decision to shift girl to Singapore

As questions cropped up over shifting the Delhi gangrape victim to Singapore, the doctor, who led the team that treated her in Safdarjung Hospital, and another who accompanied her in the air ambulance, today rebutted criticism of the decision saying the intention was to save her at any cost.

Maintaining that this was not not the time to have a debate whether the decision to shift her was political or medical, Dr B D Athani, Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital, said "The pure intention was to save her. The whole nation was praying for her and everyone was hoping for the best. We could not have given hope. We wanted to save her."

Dr Yatin Mehta, a critical care specialist of the Medanta Medicity Hospital, said he was surprised by criticism of the decision.

Some experts like Dr Samiran Nandi of the Ganga Ram Hospital had expressed surprise why a critically ill patient with infection in blood and body, high grade fever and on ventilator was been transferred.

"It was always a clever retrospection. Doctors are always at (their) best to criticise the decisions of other doctors and that is not not fair," Mehta said on the criticism.

Mehta said the patient survived for 48 hours in Singapore and so it cannot be said that she should not not have been transferred.

7.00 am:

I would not have shifted her to Singapore, says doctor

Was it a good choice move the victim at such a critical time? The decision to do so was apparently taken by the Prime Minister himself in high-level meeting.

Dr. Samiran Nundy, a doctor in Ganga Ram hospital, Delhi, said he would not have done so.

Speaking to the CNN-IBN, the doctor said -

"There must be a lot of considerations as to why she was moved - political, social, emotional - but medically, I think it is sad that we send people like her to other countries when there are facilities here. Shifting such a dangerously ill patient was incorrect. If she was my patient, I would not have shifted her,"

6.30 am:

We provided the best medical care possible, says doctor

Doctor BD Atthani, the doctor who oversaw her case in Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi told Times Now that doctors had done everything they possibly could to save the victim's life, despite her injuries.

The doctor confessed that on the fourth day, when she developed an infection, the doctors felt the situation was less hopeful.

The doctor said that she showed very clearly that she wanted to live and tried her best to fight back and for the first three or four days it appeared she would recover, however after an operation on the fourth day she never managed to recover or gain any more strength.

However scans taken in Singapore showed the injuries had deteriorated far more than anticipated. Her brain also suffered damage in the attack and her conditioned only worsened further.

5.30 am:

Delhi police appeal for calm on Twitter

The Delhi gang-rape passed away due to her injuries at 4.45 am on Saturday morning. An earlier statement by her doctors had indicated that she was in severe organ failure and the prospects looked dim.

In response, the Delhi police has taken to twitter, appealing for calm and for 'prayers'.

The actual tweet is - "Praying hard for the rape victim will ensure accused are given severest punishment and quickly Reqst ppl to stay calm and maintain peace,"

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