The Prime Minister has condoled the sudden demise of the 23-year-old woman who was victim to one of the most brutal rape and assault cases in the national capital and said that anger over the incident should be channelised to a constructive course of action.
"I am deeply saddened to learn that the unfortunate victim of the brutal assault that took place on December 16 in New Delhi has succumbed to the grievous injuries she suffered following that attack. I join the nation in conveying to her family and friends my deepest condolences at this terrible loss," Singh said in a statement.
The Prime Minister has been accused of showing lack of emotion over the incident following a televised statement on the issue, but in a seemingly emotional statement today, he urged for dispassionate debate and inquiry.
"I want to tell them (the woman's family) 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," he said.
"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 channelize these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action," Singh said.
He reiterated that the government was looking into changing laws to tackle sexual assault against women and urged for consensus on it.
"The need of the hour is a dispassionate debate and inquiry into the critical changes that are required in societal attitudes. Government is 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 safer place for women to live in," Singh said.
The 23-year-old woman, who was raped and assaulted aboard a bus in Delhi, was shifted to a hospital in Singapore for further treatment after doctors in India were unable to stop the spread of infection in her body due to her injuries. Five persons have been arrested so far for their involvement in the incident.