Indian PM Pledges Action After Rape Victim's Death

Kim LaCapria

Indian PM Manmohan Singh has pledged action in India after the death of a young victim of gang rape, saying he is "very saddened" by the crime that took the life of the 23-year-old medical student.

The Indian PM addressed the situation Saturday after the victim died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital, where she was transported after the December 16 incident on a bus in New Delhi.

In India, women often do not report rapes due to the resultant stigma, and Singh acknowledged that the strong emotional reaction among Indian women as well as the ensuing outrage could meaningfully be channeled into change to prevent similar attacks from claiming more lives.

Singh pledged action at a meeting, saying:

"Let me state categorically that the issue of safety and security of women is of the highest concern to our government ... There can be no meaningful development without the active participation of half the population, and this participation simply cannot take place if their security and safety is not assured."
"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."

Prior to the Indian woman's death but after the gang rape shook the country and sparked protests, investigations into what led up to the brutality as well as modalities to crowdsource suggestions from Indian citizens were put into place.