Girl who fought attackers dies in pain

February 25th, 2011 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 25 (IANS) Just as fiercely as she fought with her attackers to thwart their rape bid, 16-year-old Poonam battled with her wounds for 17 days before succumbing to the trauma and pain.Poonam died at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) here Thursday night, hospital sources said Friday.

The girl sustained grievous injuries all over her body when three men threw acid on her and hit her with a crude weapon Feb 7 in Shafipur village of Unnao district, about 60 km from Lucknow.

Police have arrested only one of her attackers.

The girl was returning to her thatched home in the evening when the attackers from her own neighbourhood pounced on her and attempted to rape her.

She resisted them bravely for a long time when one of the attackers, Ramsewak, sprayed acid on her face and his accomplice hit her with a blunt weapon.

Poonam screamed, attracting the attention of the villagers.

Her father, a labourer, rushed Poonam to the nearest government dispensary in Unnao where she could not receive anything beyond first aid.

Next morning he took her to the L.L.R. district hospital in Kanpur, some 20 km away.

Poonam required urgent surgery but the hospital did not have adequate surgical equipment, leaving her unattended for another day.

Only when the media highlighted the issue was Poonam shifted to the ICU Feb 10. However her condition worsened.

She was referred to the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow where she was refused admission.

Eventually, a journalist came to Poonam’s rescue and got her admitted to the trauma centre of KGMU Feb 21 evening.

However, that too did not help her.

Saroj Shukla, a police constable who escorted her after the issue hit the headlines, said: “The poor girl remained a target of neglect and apathy at every stage.

“I had to argue with the doctors at every stage, but they seemed to be totally indifferent to the girl’s plight. Even after she died, the doctors on duty did not show any concern,” she lamented.

“I only hope and pray that the culprits get the severest punishment that they deserve”, Shukla said.

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