New Delhi: As an outraged nation empathised with the gangrape victim, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the fight of nation`s "beloved daughter" will not go in vain, promising "swift and fitting punishment" to perpetrators as well as stringent laws for women protection.
"Her unbounded courage and her indomitable spirit will never die and will never be forgotten...My heart is heavy with sorrow and anguish for the young woman, who fought so bravely against impossible odds," she said in her televised tributes.
She recalled that the 23-year-old girl died in Singapore after battling for nearly two weeks after the "unspeakably brutal and bestial assault" on her.
"As a woman and mother, I understand how you feel. I appeal you to remain calm and help strengthen our collective resolve to fight the menace of violence against women," Gandhi, who is also UPA Chairperson, said in televised remarks.
"Today all Indians grieve as they have lost their own beloved daughter, their cherished sister, a young woman of 23 whose life full of hope, dream and promise was ahead of her. Our hearts go out to her parents, family. The whole country shares their pain," she added.
As people hit the streets expressing their outrage over the tragedy, Gandhi said "to all of you who have expressed their anger and anguish publicly, who have poured out in her support, I want to assure you that your voice has been heard."
Appealing for peace and calm in wake of the tragic incident, Gandhi said, "Today we pledge that she will get justice and that her fight will not go in vain".
Breaking his silence on the tragedy, Gandhi`s son and MP Rahul Gandhi called for for introspection over the incident and a resolve to ensure the security and dignity of women.
"My heart goes out to the family of the young girl and millions of young Indians, families who work, hope and pray for a better India. We as a nation must reflect on the events of the days gone by," Rahul said, offering his deep condolences to the young girl`s family.
As citizens, we must resolve to respect the dignity of women and follow the laws of the land, he said.
The Congress President said that the tragedy "strengthens
our resolve to fight with all our might and with all the powers of our laws and our administration for the safety and protection of all women of our country and to ensure swift and fitting punishment for the perpetrators of such acts.
"It deepens our determination to battle the pervasive shameful social attitudes and mindsets that allow men to rape and molest women and girls with such impunity."
Sonia Gandhi had yesterday sought speedy action against the perpetrators of the "barbarous" attack saying that no time should be lost in bringing them to justice.
The Congress chief had earlier shot off strongly-worded letters to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Diskhit wanting firm steps for the security of women in the national capital, describing the incident as a "matter of shame".
The girl, who was gang-raped by six men in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, breathed her last in a Singapore hospital early this morning after battling for life for the past 13 days.