The body of the Delhi gang-rape victim was cremated Sunday, in a private ceremony at the capital, amid tight security and an outpouring of grief and anger over her death, within hours of the body flown home from Singapore. Protests against the brutal Delhi gang-rape of the girl turned violent Sunday as protesters allegedly pelted stones at the police and tried to break the barricades.
The unidentified 23-year-old girl, who succumbed to her injuries Saturday, from a brutal gang-rape Dec.16, was cremated out-of-public-glare as her bereaved family requested complete privacy, local channels reported.
The last rites were performed at a crematorium in southwestern Dwarka district of Delhi. According to a Reuters report, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling party leader Sonia Gandhi were seen at the airport when the plane carrying the girl’s body landed.
The body was later taken to her Delhi home with police escort and later to the crematorium for cremation. Traumatized relatives and friends of the victim and her family took part in the rituals.
The funeral pyre was lit by her father in presence of her family, relatives, close friends and authorities at 7.30 a.m. local time.
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Fearing a law and order problem, police had kept the cremation plan under wraps and had tried to conduct the rituals by 6.30 a.m. However, the plan failed as Hindu traditions do not allow cremation before sunrise, local media reports said.
She was described by mourners who attended her cremation as a lively and bright girl.
"I came because I really loved this girl. She was the brightest of all the girls in our neighborhood," Meena Rai, a close friend and neighbor told AFP.
She also added that the girl planned to marry her boyfriend, who was injured in the same attack, next February.
"They had made all the wedding preparations and had planned a wedding party in Delhi," Meena Rai, who had been shopping with the victim for wedding outfits, told AFP.
The brutal gang-rape of the girl Dec. 16, in a moving bus by six men, provoked hitherto unseen protests and public outcry over violence against women in the country. Thousands took part in the silent protests and candlelight vigils were held across the country, escalating the pressure on the government to take measures to end crimes against women.
The government was caught off guard on the public outrage over the incident and assured speedy trial of the incident and stringent measures to curtail such crimes in the future.
The girl had suffered massive internal and external injuries and was treated in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital and was eventually flown to Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital Thursday, where she breathed her last early Saturday morning local time.
The culprits are charged for murder following the girl’s death.