Washington: Expressing shock and disbelief at the death of the 23-year old gang-rape victim, Indian Americans on Sunday said that she was a "true national hero".
"The victim girl 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. The nation should mourn the passing of this brave daughter of India," Satnam Singh Chahal president of North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) said. He urged people back home to "resolve" that this death will not go in vain.
"We should do everything possible to ensure that such an incident never happens again," he stressed.
Noting that the incident should serve as a wakeup call for the Indian Government, in particular the law enforcement agencies, Vinay Singh, a budding entrepreneur from the Greater Washington Area said Indian Americans and people across the globe join Indians in mourning the loss of their beloved daughter. "Her sacrifice should not go in vain," Singh said.
Highly appreciative of the spontaneous peaceful protest by people, in particular the youths, across the country, Ritu Sharma from Chicago said the true homage to the victim would be to take steps to channelise the emotions and energies into a constructive course of action so that the incident is never repeated.
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) in a statement called for an expansion to the scope of the Committee headed by Justice Verma, which was established in the wake of the Delhi rape case to explore possible amendments to anti-rape laws in order to secure timely justice for the victims.
IAMC has called on the government to bring to justice not only the criminals that prey upon vulnerable women, but also the perpetrators of mass rape committed during sectarian and caste-based violence.
The gang rape and brutalisation of a 23-year old woman in Delhi warrants the widespread outrage and protests it has sparked, it said.
However, the overall trend of increasing brutality against women, especially against those belonging to the vulnerable sections of society, points to a much deeper malaise that belies our claim to being a modern progressive society, where all citizens are equal before the law, IAMC said.
"The bestial forms of rape and humiliation inflicted against women from the minorities during the sectarian pogroms in Gujarat, Punjab, Odisha and Assam, as well as the brutalisation of Dalit and adivasi women on a regular basis call for national soul-searching and introspection," said Shaheen Khateeb, president of IAMC.