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President, PM condole gangrape victim's death

Last updated on: December 29, 2012 10:18 IST

Describing the 23-year-old gangrape victim who died in Singapore as a 'brave daughter of India', President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said all steps to bring the perpetrators of this 'ghastly crime' to justice should be taken to ensure that her death will not be in vain.

"She was a brave and courageous girl who fought till the very last minute for her dignity and her life. She is a true hero and symbolises the best in Indian youth and women...The nation will mourn the passing of this brave daughter of India," the President said in his condolence message.

He appealed for peace and calm and called upon authorities to take all necessary steps to bring the perpetrators of this ghastly crime to justice.

The girl, who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted by six men in a moving bus in south Delhi, died in a Singapore hospital early this morning after battling for life for the past 13 days.

'Deeply distressed' by the 'unfortunate demise' of the girl, he said while conveying his condolences to her parents and family who have faced this adversity with 'fortitude and grace' and prayed that they have the strength to bear this loss.

"At the same time, let us resolve that this death will not be in vain. We will do everything possible to ensure that such an incident never happens again," he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also condoled the death of the victim and expressed the hope that the entire political class and civil society will set aside narrow sectional interests and agenda to make India a demonstrably safer place to live in.

He said it would be a true homage to her memory if the emotions and energies of the youth generated by the brutal assault on her are channelised into a constructive course of action.

Deeply saddened by the death of the girl, he joined the nation in conveying to her family and friends his deepest condolences at this terrible loss.

"I want to tell them and the nation that while she may have lost her battle for life, it is up to us all to ensure that her death will not have been in vain.

"We have already seen the emotions and energies this incident has generated. These are perfectly understandable reactions from a young India and an India that genuinely desires change. It would be a true homage to her memory if we are able to channelise these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action," he said in his condolence message.

He said the need of the hour is a dispassionate debate and inquiry into the critical changes that are required in societal attitudes.

The government, Singh said, was examining on priority basis the penal provisions that exist for such crimes and measures to enhance the safety and security of women.

"I hope that the entire political class and civil society will set aside narrow sectional interests and agenda to help us all reach the end that we all desire making India a demonstrably better and safe place for women to live in," Singh said in his condolence message.

The prime minister said he prays for the peace of the departed soul and hoped that her family will have the strength to bear this grievous loss.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed her distress over the death of the girl.

Sources close to Gandhi said the Congress president was 'shocked and deeply distressed' to learn about the tragic death and expressed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members.

Terming the gangrape of the 23-year-old girl as a 'shameful incident' for her as an administrator, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit too condoled the death of the victim and said one must ensure that such 'ghastly' acts do not happen again.

She also appealed to people to maintain peace and calm against the backdrop of violent demonstrations last weekend over the gang-rape incident.

"Our heart goes to the family. My heart is burning over the incident. The passing away of the girl is a truly and terribly tragic incident. It shook our conscience," Dikshit told PTI.

The girl, who was gangraped allegedly by six men in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, breathed her last in a Singapore hospital early this morning after battling  for life for the past 13 days.

"It is a shameful incident for me as a chief minister and also as a citizen of Delhi. It is time for all of us to reflect on what has happened. "We all must ensure such ghastly incident do not happen in future. I pray for her," Dikshit said.

Dikshit said the passing away of the 'brave' girl comes as terribly sad news.

"She fought courageously and in the process shook the nation's conscience. Our hearts are burdened with grief and shame. Not the moment for words or speeches but for deep reflection," Dikshit said.

"May her soul rest in peace and may God give the family and all of us strength to bear this terrible loss. I hope all of us learn the right lessons and ensure that such ghastly incidents do not recur ever again," she said.

"She fought courageously and in the process shook the nation's conscience. Our hearts are burdened with grief and shame. Not the moment for words or speeches but for deep reflection," Dikshit said.

"May her soul rest in peace and may God give the family and all of us strength to bear this terrible loss. I hope all of us learn the right lessons and ensure that such ghastly incidents do not recur ever again," she said.

Condoling the death of the gangrape victim, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde pledged to strengthen laws to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.

He also said that the real tribute to the 23-year-old victim will be to ensure maximum punishment to the culprits. In a message to the family, he said, "A real tribute to her will be to ensure maximum punishment to the culprits.

"I pledge to work to strengthen the laws and ensure that such an incident never gets repeated again," he said.

PTI
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