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Gang-rape victim dies, India transfixed

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Indian police have arrested six people in connection with the attack, which left the victim with severe internal injuries.

Indian High Commissioner, or ambassador, T.C.A. Raghanvan told reporters that the scale of the injuries she suffered was "very grave" and in the end it "proved too much.

He said arrangements are being made to take her body back to India

The crime shocked Indians, who have come out in their thousands for almost daily demonstrations, demanding stronger protection for women and death penalty for rape, which is now punishable by a maximum life imprisonment.

(Read the Monitor's roundup of how the gang-rape started a national dialogue on women's safety)

But the tragedy has also forced India to confront the reality that sexually assaulted women are often blamed for the crime, which forces them to keep quiet and not report it to authorities for fear of exposing their families to ridicule. Also, police often refuse to accept complaints from those who are courageous enough to report the rapes and the rare prosecutions that reach courts drag on for years.

After 10 days at a New Delhi hospital, the victim was brought to the Mount Elizabeth hospital, which specializes in multi-organ transplant. But by late Friday, the young woman's condition had "taken a turn for the worse" and her vital signs had deteriorated. It was clear then that she would not survive long.

Indian attitudes toward rape are so entrenched that even politicians and opinion makers have often suggested that women should not go out at night or wear clothes that might be seen provocative.

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