The death of the 23-year old, who was assaulted in a moving bus in New Delhi, spurred an outpouring of grief and shame from politicians, activists and public, as their call for stringent anti-rape legislations grew louder.
Delhi ramped up security to prevent any potential flare up of violence or protests as the gang rape victim, died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital on Saturday (December 29).
The 23-year-old paramedical student, severely beaten, raped and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi two weeks ago, had been flown to Singapore in a critical condition by the Indian government on Thursday (December 27) for specialist treatment.
Protests over the lack of safety for women erupted across India after the attack, culminating last weekend in pitched battles between police and protesters in the heart of New Delhi.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi mourned the death of the 23-year old girl, calling it a blotch on humanity.
"This news is sad and unfortunate and at the same time shames humanity. There was outrage in the country over the gang rape and now, the people are grief-stricken," he said.
The capital braced for a new wave of protests, banning vehicles from the city centre district where young activists had converged to demand improved women's rights. The news came in the early hours of the morning in India and there were no signs of protests as morning broke.
New Delhi has been on edge since the weekend clashes. Hundreds of policemen have been deployed on the streets of the capital and streets leading to the main protest site, the India Gate war memorial, have been shut for long periods, severely disrupting traffic in the city of 16 million.
Joining the growing clamour to award death penalty to the rapists, Chief of India's regional Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Lalu Prasad Yadav advocated capital punishment for those culprits, who committed such barbaric crimes.
"I am very saddened by this news and I am sure all the women in this country feel the same. We all want that the rapists should be subjected to the same inhuman treatment that the girl went through. I cannot express my grief, I feel such incidents reflect the end of humanity. Don't we also have daughters and sisters in our family?," he said.
Earlier in the day, chief of Delhi state, Sheila Dikshit described the death of the victim as a "shameful moment" for her.
Member of Indian Against Corruption (IAC) and a mother of a daughter, Preeti Sharma, said this was a cry of an anguished woman, who bears the brunt of sexual harassment, molestation or what is euphemistically called eve teasing on the city roads on a daily basis.
The woman, who has not been identified, and a male friend were returning home from the cinema by bus on the evening of December 16 when six men on the bus beat them with metal rods and repeatedly raped the woman. (ANI)