Article from: The Daily Telegraph
By Kate Sikora
February 05, 2008 10:35am
AUSSIE girl Lila Salter, 17, who was shot by a stalker in India has died, with her family and friends around her.
Lila Salter was shot three times by Saurav Singh, the nephew of a former minister in Vrindavan, near Agra, in India's Uttar Pradesh state, on Saturday.
Singh then fatally shot himself.
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Lila, who had been on life support in the holy town of Vrindavan, died overnight.
Doctors had warned her family that Lila's gunshot wounds were so severe she was likely to be brain dead, and family members were yesterday deciding whether to switch off her life support.
Her mother and siblings spent Lila's last hours chanting and praying around the bed of the Hare Krishna devotee.
Lila, who was born in the northern NSW town of Murwillumbah but had lived with family in India for several years, had known Singh for some years.
Lila, a Hare Krishna devotee, had been raped at gunpoint by Singh, hours before he returned to shoot her three times.
Yesterday her mother and four siblings, who are in India, moved Lila from the New Delhi hospital to a private residence in Vrindavan, near Agra, where she was on life support.
They made the heartbreaking decision to make the 200km journey after doctors declared her clinically brain dead.
Her older sister Cinti, who is in Queensland where the family is originally from, said only a miracle could save Lila.
"They moved her back to Vrindavan overnight (Sunday)," she told The Daily Telegraph yesterday. "Vrindavan is regarded as a very holy city and is the birth place of Krishna. There is a belief that if you die there, you will be liberated."
Lila, who was born at Murwillumbah but spent most of her life in India, had known her attacker Saurav Singh for several years.
Singh, the nephew of a former minister in India's Uttar Pardesh state, is said to have arrived at the flat Lila shared with her older brothers and begged to be allowed to see her to apologise for the rape.
Instead he shot Lila three times before turning the gun on himself.
Lila's mother Susan Manning, who has kept a beside vigil, has urged Australians to pray.
The family is believed to be waiting for "a miracle" before switching off the life support next week.
"Lila will definitely be put in a holy river," her sister Cinti said. "That's how she would have wanted it."
Doctors warned the family the gunshot wounds were so severe it would be unlikely Lila could survive.
She had been planning to return to Australia to complete Year 12 at TAFE.
The family, which owns a vegetarian restaurant on the Gold Coast, is involved with the Hare Krishna movement and with charity work in India.
Lila was living in Vrindavan with Zardi and another brother at the time of the attack.
On her MySpace page, Lila describes her love of India.
"I am Australian but I have basically grown up in India," she says.
"It has been 13 years now since I have been here.
"I stay in a small holy town called Vrindavan which is somewhere in between Agra and New Delhi.
"I love India and have travelled the world to find no place like it.
"I have recently come to Australia to finish my studies and then hope to move to my favourite city MUMBAI!! Well pls keep in touch. Radhe Shyam!!!"
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman last night said no official update had been provided on Lila.
Source: Daily Telegraph