NEW DELHI – The 23-year-old rape victim whose assault and death shook India and captured the attention of the world was the daughter of an airport baggage handler who was studying hard and who harbored big ambitions.
She enrolled four years ago on a physiotherapy course in Dehradun, a city in the foothills of the Himalayas, and was in the capital doing an internship in a hospital after completing her final exams.
In a cruel twist, her final grades were published shortly after her death in Singapore on Dec. 29, showing she had achieved first-class exam results.
In New Delhi, she would often meet up with the male IT worker five years her senior with whom she went to the cinema on the night of the attack that shook India.
Her companion has been the main prosecution witness in the trial.
He said he admired his dead friend’s courage and ability to smile even in the worst situations.
“She had the magic to make everyone happy. Even when she was in the hospital, she asked me to wear a new shirt and said I looked very smart,” he said in a January interview.