Park Street Rape Survivor Passes Away

13/03/2015 10:56 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Indian youth hold candles during a protest against sexual violence in New Delhi, India, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015.Police were searching Monday for a man who raped a Japanese student sightseeing in northern India, while elsewhere they announced the arrest of eight men suspected of brutally raping and killing a Nepalese woman, as India authorities continue to struggle to address chronic sexual violence. (AP Photo/ Tsering Topgyal)

KOLKATA — The Park Street rape survivor, who was brutalised inside a moving car in February 2012 triggering nationwide outrage, today died of Encephalitis at a city hospital. She had been undergoing treatment for it for a long time, according to reports.

"She passed away in the morning. She was suffering from health problems and got admitted to a city hospital for last few days," Joint CP (Crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh said.

She was reportedly admitted to the Calcutta Medical College on Thursday following which her health rapidly deteriorated. She was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit where she died of multiple organ failure at 6.30 am on Friday.

She was gang raped in a moving car in February 2012 by five young men, triggering nationwide outrage when West Bengal government called it "a fabricated case to malign authorities."

The Park Street rape case hit headlines in February 2012, after the survivor was gang-raped at gunpoint in Kolkata’s Park Street. The survivor came out strongly against her aggressors. While Indian laws forbid the disclosure of a rape victim's identity, she chose to not hide hers.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee even went so far as to say that the survivor was a liar, dismissing the episode as a 'sajana ghatana' or “cooked-up incident”, despite tops cops standing by the rape survivor's version.

She refused to hide her identity, even though it is standard protocol in India, instead taking to the streets to march against violence against women and working for empowerment of other rape survivors. A mother of two, she was in her mid-30s.

Her funeral is reported to be on Saturday. Meanwhile, her lawyer has said that her case will continue despite her sudden death. "Her fight will continue. Her death will not affect the investigation of case and I am going to fight the case," lawyer Anirban Guha said.

While three of the accused are behind bars, two others, including the prime accused, are still at large.

(with PTI inputs)

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