OMEN AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT AND STATE REPRESSION
29 December 2012
WHY WAS SHE SHIFTED?
We are anguished beyond words at the news this morning of the death in a Singapore hospital of the young woman who was brutally assaulted and gang-raped in a moving bus in Delhi on 16th December.
We hold the Government of India, which took the decision of moving her out of the country despite her fragile condition, against medical advice, responsible for hastening her death.
It is clear that this was a political decision, taken with a cynical and callous disregard for the survival of the young woman.
According to Dr Samiran Nandy, a renowned transplant surgeon of the country, “I just can’t understand why a critically ill patient with infection in blood and body, high grade fever and on the ventilator is being transferred. It will take weeks in this case to even look into the possibility of an intestinal transplant, so why hurry and take the patient out from a facility which works so well. It seems more of a political move”.
Dr Kaushar Mishra of Primus Hospital has expressed similar views, “There is no question of a transplant at this stage. The infection has to be controlled first, and the patient stabilized. I do not understand what the hurry was to take the patient out. Safdarjang Hospital, like other major hospitals in India, has excellent medical facilities and doctors to take care of the critically ill’.
Yet another senior doctor of AIIMS has said, “When the Prime Minister can be treated and operated here, what is the specific medical need to move a patient to Singapore? What the government is saying does not seem to add up”.
Medical experts across the board are of the view that the doctors at Safdarjang Hospital were doing an excellent job and were taking good care of her.
Indeed, at a time when the government itself is promoting and advertising India as a destination for medical tourism and does not tire of boasting of the excellent medical expertise that the country has, we fail to see why this hurry to move the young woman out of the country on supposedly medical grounds of good treatment, and contrary to expert medical opinion?
The Head of the JPN Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, is reported as saying that `the decision was okayed keeping in mind the best interest of the patient and as directed by the Government’1. According to newspaper reports the CM Sheila Dixit was among the first to suggest this idea of treatment abroad.
The manner in which this lethal decision was taken, with even Health Ministry officials being kept in the dark, shows that it was no more than another cynical gambit in the game of evading accountability for violence against women – yet another attempt to hide from the justified anger of the thousands of citizens on the streets of Delhi who are no longer taken in by the paeans to “good governance” and “progress” trotted out by the government.
The cynicism, callousness and sheer barbarity with which the ruling establishment has handled the public protests of the last weeks matches the brutality of the rape itself and proves their complicity in creating and sustaining a ruthless social, political and economic order that subjects millions of Indian women to violence on a daily basis.
We demand a public enquiry into the decision to shift the young woman out of the country.
We demand a public acceptance of culpability by the Chief Minister of Delhi, the Prime Minister and the President.
We demand justice for the young woman whose untimely and unnecessary death we are mourning today.
LET US NOT FORGET that this tragic incident is the latest in a long chronicle of cases of sexual violence ignored, covered up, denied and condoned by the government.
We demand immediate cancellation of bail and fast-tracking of trials in the 1 lakh rape cases currently pending in courts.
- Rape survivor airlift was govt., not medical, decision (thehindu.com)
- Doctors defend decision to shift girl to Singapore (thehindu.com)