SINGAPORE: Why Was the Rape Victim Moved from India?

The mystery deepens as media speculation won’t go away.

On Saturday, December 29, chief executive Dr. Kevin Loh of Singapore’s Mt. Elizabeth Hospital stated that the hospital and team of eight specialists mourned the loss of the 23 year old New Dehli gang rape vicim and was honored to have been chosen to care for her. But was the facility chosen because of its medical expertise or to avoid further political strife in India? The jury of public opinion has mixed reviews.

The woman died of organ failure due to the severe injuries incurred after being brutally raped by six men in a bus on December 16 in her home country of India. Her identity has been concealed, but has caused public outcry. Millions in India and around the world have been angered by the story and have been protesting to encourage the government to do more to protect women from violence. Their hope is that there will be stricter punishment for those who commit rape and that more women will feel comfortable to come forward, should they experience abuse, without fear of being blamed or embarrassing their families.

Because the story has received an overwhelming amount of public attention, there has been speculation that the decision to move the woman to a hospital in Singapore on Thursday, December 27, was politically motivated, and not in the best interest of the victim’s health. Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid insists that “The shifting was not done due to some political reasons. It was done for medical purposes. It was purely a medical decision taken by the doctors,” but some believe otherwise.

One anonymous doctor treating the woman claims “The question was not whether there were any deficiencies in treatment that would be met by moving her….  She was being given the best possible care.” Samiran Nundy, chair of the organ transplant and gastro-surgery department at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Dehli, was also confused as to why a woman in critical condition was being transferred to another country when she was receiving medical attention right where she was. He was not shy in saying that “It seems more of a political move.”

Political move or not, the world mourns the death of this unnamed heroine and all eyes are on India’s next move.

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