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I represented government at funeral, says minister

New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh represented the government at the funeral of the 23-year-old woman who died of injuries after her brutal gang-rape here Dec 16.

"I was there as representative of the government" Singh told IANS.

The body was brought for the funeral near Dwarka, southwest Delhi, at around 6.26 a.m., said Singh. A small ceremony was performed, according to Hindu rites, where the body was bathed and the clothes were changed, before the funeral pyre was lit at 7.25 a.m, the minister said.

The funeral was held under secrecy "as we wanted to respect the privacy of the family", claimed Singh.

The minister was at the funeral site for about an hour, he said. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was also present.

The woman's body was brought to the capital from Singapore at 3.30 a.m. and the funeral was held just after sunrise, in accordance with the wishes of her family.

Sunrise on Sunday was at 7.13 a.m., an India Meteorological Department official told IANS.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi were at the airport when the body arrived and consoled the family of the woman.