Delhi gang-rape: Victim is fighting for life, on ventilator, say doctors

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Delhi gang-rape: Victim is fighting for life, on ventilator, say doctors

Women participate in a protest in New Delhi on Tuesday condemning the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student on a city bus. (AP)

New Delhi:  The 23-year-old medical student who was gang-raped and hit with an iron rod for nearly 45 minutes on a Delhi bus is in critical condition, say her doctors.

They say that though the girl is conscious, her platelet count has fallen. The doctors also say they will now constantly keep her on the ventilator.

"Her condition is critical and deteriorating. In the morning, she was better but, in the evening, the situation fluctuated and her health deteriorated," Dr BD Athani, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, told PTI on Tuesday.

The girl has underwent four surgeries since yesterday, but doctors say she needs more. They, however, add that they can't go ahead with any more surgeries till she stabilises. Her intestines have been ruptured very badly and there are injury marks all over her body, they say.

The girl is not able to speak but is scribbling messages for doctors and nurses.

The injuries in her private parts and abdomen are "extremely serious," said one source at the government hospital where she is being treated. Doctors say next 48-72 hours are critical for the girl.

Four men including the driver of the bus have been arrested, Delhi's Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said yesterday. Searches are underway in Rajasthan, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh for two other men who assaulted the student and a male friend on Sunday night. (Read: How police cracked Delhi gang-rape case)

The student was on her way home after watching The Life of Pi at a South Delhi mall with a male friend. When the couple boarded a bus at about 9 pm, a group of men who were on the bus began harassing her, asking why she was out late with a man. When her friend tried to intervene, he was gagged and then hit mercilessly with an iron rod. Five men then hit the woman with the same rod and gang-raped her while the driver kept the bus moving. At about 11 pm, the couple was thrown semi-naked onto the road.

A passer-by phoned the police which then collected the couple and moved the pair to hospital.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told Parliament on Tuesday that the government will push for a fast-track trial with daily hearings for the case.

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