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Gang-rape victim taken off ventilator

December 21, 2012 20:24 IST
Five days after her brutal gang-rape, the 23-year-old paramedical student was on Friday taken off ventilator support but she showed early signs of infection setting in, as government vowed to file the chargesheet in the case "quickly" and seek maximum punishment of life term for the six accused.

Even as protests continued for the fifth day including at India Gate over the dastardly crime in a moving bus on Sunday night, government complimented Delhi police for cracking the "blind case" within a very short span of time.

Union Home Secretary R K Singh told a press conference that the police have been able to arrest right persons – five of them were arrested -- while one was still on the run.

Singh said henceforth no 'gunda gardi' (rowdiness) and misbehaviour toward women will be tolerated and police action will be visible on the ground.

But the heat was on the Police when the Delhi high court slammed it for being "evasive" in its probe status report in providing details of its officers on patrol duty in the area covered by the bus in which the girl was gang-raped for about 40 minutes.

In an emotional moment, the male friend of the girl who was with her during the sexual assault met the victim for the first time at Safdarjang hospital during which she enquired from him about her assailants.

"She has shown some mixed response. She has shown some signs of improvement and there are some signs of deterioration. She is off the ventilator at the moment. She is no more on ventilator. She is breathing spontaneously on her own," Dr B D Athani, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, told a press conference. She was on ventilator in the ICU since she was admitted on Sunday night.

On the deterioration in the girl's health, Athani said the level of Bilirubin, the yellow breakdown product of normal heme catabolism, has increased to five which is a cause of concern as it would affect liver.

"There are early signs of setting up of infection. Infection seems to be setting in. These are early signs of sepsis. That is a part of the blood culture and several other. We have sent blood for test," he said.

Around 60-70 activists of Arvin Kejriwals outfit Aam Aadmi Party staged a sit-in in front of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's 10 Janpath residence on Friday evening demanding immediate hanging of the rapists.

The girl, who has shown "immense fighting spirit", is attempting to speak normally, doctors said. She asked for water to the doctors who are keeping a 24/7 watch on her at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.

"We are allowing her to speak as minimum as possible. We don't want her to start talking at this stage. The basic and required minimum we are talking to her. No excessive talking is allowed at this point," Athani said.

Other doctors said the girl wanted to meet her mother, but did not made it clear whether the meeting took place.

To repeated questions on whether Delhi police recorded a statement from the victim, the Medical Superintendent evaded a direct reply saying they were doing their job and doctors were doing theirs.

"It (recording statement) depends on her current state of condition, her state of health and we will ask her mother and we would definitely permit," he said.

Athani, however, refused to say whether a statement has already been recorded or not.

To a question, he said they have been keeping the patient on high dose of antibiotic and high standards of hygiene is being maintained -- two important factors for preventing infection.

"And because we have to maintain high state of hygiene we are requesting citizens to not to make a plea for seeing the patient," he said.
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