She is a true hero, symbolises best in youth: President

After the death of the 23-year-old rape victim in Singapore on Saturday morning, a deluge of emotional messages poured in from the top functionaries of the ruling establishment, grieving the loss of life, and promising quick punishment to the perpetrators of the crime.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde all mourned the death of the young woman, who was gang-raped and assaulted badly in a moving bus on December 16, and had to be airlifted to a Singapore hospital on Thursday night after her health deteriorated.

"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. I convey my condolences to her parents and family who have faced this adversity with fortitude and grace. I pray that they have the strength to bear this loss. The nation will mourn the passing of this brave daughter of India," the President said in his condolence message. "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.

PM Manmohan Singh, in his condolence message, said he was "deeply saddened" to learn about the girl's death and called for a "dispassionate debate" on how to bring about a change in attitude towards women.

"I want to tell the girl's family and the nation that while she many 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 true homage to her memory if we are able to channelise these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action," the Prime Minister said.

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