New Delhi: Demanding tougher laws to protect women in India, scores of protestors gathered at the Jantar Mantar here on Sunday and prayed for the 23-year-old gang-rape victim, who was cremated here early this morning in the presence of her family, some government dignitaries and officials.
A 'havan' was held at the protest site at Jantar Mantar here, with priests performing prayers invoking peace for the departed soul and protection for the women of the country.
Prem Das Tripathi, a priest who conducted the prayers, said the government's apathy towards the issue was a matter of shame.
"The objective of this ritual is to pray for protection against rapes and the other crimes perpetrated against women. Our politicians are silent on the issue, and have not provided for adequate security for women, or stringent laws against rape. We are ashamed of them," Tripathi said.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has imposed Section 144 in various places of the national capital. Ten metro stations close to India Gate have also been closed down as a precautionary measure.
A special aircraft of Air India carrying the mortal remains of the victim, who died at Singapore's Mount Elizebeth hospital on Saturday morning, landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi at around 3.30 a.m.
The body was then taken to Mahavir Enclave residence where the girl lived and religious rituals were performed before taking it to the crematorium at Dwarka sector-24 amid heavy deployment of Delhi Police and RAF personnel. The cremation took place under a dense cover of fog.
Minister of State for Home Affairs R.P.N. Singh, Congress MP from West Delhi Mahabal Mishra and Delhi BJP President Vijender Gupta were also present at the cremation.
While undergoing treatment at Safdarjung hospital, the girl was shifted to Mount Elizebeth hospital for further treatment.
The girl was gang raped and brutally assaulted allegedly by six men in a moving bus in South Delhi on the night of December 16. She died on Saturday at around 2:15 a.m.