Bhubaneswar: The 19-year-old Dalit rape victim of Pipili died on Thursday after remaining in coma for more than six months with her father demanding capital punishment for the culprits.
She died of septicaemia, severe respiratory and cardiological complications, Dr BN Maharana, emergency officer of Cuttack's SCB Medical College Hospital, told reporters.
The girl, who was raped and an attempt made to strangulate her on November 28 last year, was admitted at the medical college hospital on January 11 following intervention of Orissa High Court.
The case relating to assault on the girl was being probed by the Crime Branch of Odisha Police which had so far filed four charge sheets against eight people, including a dismissed police inspector and three doctors.
While four persons have been arrested till date, the policeman and doctors have not been taken into custody.
The body was handed over to the family members of the girl after post-mortem. The victim's father Babuli Behera of Arjungada village under Pipili police station of Puri district was given a cheque of Rs 10 lakh by the state government as financial assistance to the family.
"I demand capital punishment for the culprits. We will seek intervention of the prime minister," Behera said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who was in Puri to witness Lord Jagannath's car festival, condoled the death of the teenager and assured the victim's parents that culprits would be punished.
The death of the girl came two days after Orissa High Court, which monitored her treatment, directed the state government to continue providing best available treatment to her and gave liberty to petitioner advocate Prabir Das, a social activist, to approach the court in case he felt any negligence in her treatment.
The rape had triggered a statewide outcry and led to the ouster of Pipili MLA and the then Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathy from the Naveen Patnaik ministry following allegations about his role in the incident.
Police officials and doctors of Pipili were slammed for the manner in which the case was handled. While police was charged with shielding the accused, the victim's father alleged that the doctors had given anti-venom injection to the girl though she she was not a snake-bite patient.
Doctors of the Capital Hospital and SCB Medical College and Hospital had come under severe attack from different quarters for allegedly not providing immediate treatment to the girl, who had been discharged hurriedly.
Bowing to public outcry, the state government had also ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.
With the high court and Orissa Human Rights Commission voicing concern over incident, the opposition Congress and BJP had demanded a CBI probe into the incident.
Meanwhile, CPM staged a demonstration demanding arrest of the persons including politicians, police and doctors responsible for the situation which led to the death of the girl.
"We will launch a statewide agitation demanding justice for the girl," said Haladhar Sethi, president of the Odisha SC, ST Development Council.
Opposition parties including Congress have demanded a CBI probe into the entire incident.
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