Indian woman identifies attackers after awaking from coma

AHMEDABAD, India - A young Indian woman who spent 10 months in a coma after suffering a vicious attack that left her severely disabled has identified her alleged assailants in court, more than four years after the assault.

Four men ambushed Dimple Patel, 27, as she returned to her home in western Gujarat state's main city of Ahmedabad from college in February 2010.

They beat her with iron rods and abandoned her unconscious on a railway track.

Even though she still cannot hear and has difficulty speaking and walking, she was able to identify her alleged attackers in court this week, her brother Dharmendra Patel said Thursday.

"It was only after she came out of the coma that we came to know what happened and who attacked her," her brother said.

Dharmendra alleges his wife's relatives assaulted his sister to get back at him after a row over money.

"Though she couldn't speak complete sentences, she used gestures and words to give her version of events. Based on that, we lodged a complaint against her attackers," Dharmendra told AFP.

"During the court proceedings, she pointed at the accused in the courtroom and identified them." The four men accused of the attack face charges of attempted murder.

Dimple will appear in court again on August 21 when she will be cross-examined by the defence, her brother said, praising his sister's courage in pursuing the case.

"It took Dimple almost a year to recover after the attack. She spent more than a month in hospital and another nine months in coma. When she woke up, she had no recollection of the events," he said.

"It was almost a year after the attack that she remembered enough for us to file a police complaint," Dharmendra said.

Dimple was studying for an MBA in the city when she was attacked.

She now lives with her father and brother in a small town outside Ahmedabad.

Her brother said Dimple had no hearing, but can speak with difficulty and is able to walk with help.

"The court should give them strict punishment so that they do not repeat this with any other girl. I have suffered, but others should not," Dimple told India's CNN-IBN network.

"If I would have been okay, my MBA would have been completed and I would have a job. Now I cannot hear, neither can I walk or talk properly," she said.

"Bad times can come to anybody at anytime. We will have to struggle and fight on," Dimple said.