A 23-year-old woman, beaten and gang raped on a bus in India two weeks ago, has died of her injuries in Singapore where she had been flown for treatment.
The attack on the medical student in New Delhi has caused an outcry at home, prompting violent protests.
A team of specialists had been treating the patient but her condition deteriorated and she died with her family and Indian officials at her side.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was deeply saddened, adding that it was up to all Indians to ensure that her death would not have been in vain.
As the news spread, police in the Indian capital sealed off parts of the city anticipating more protests, and appealed for calm.
Metro stations were closed and vehicles banned from the city centre as young activists gathered.
The woman’s ordeal has galvanised Indians to demand better protection for women from sexual violence.
“I want to assure her family that we all are with her, with their family,” said one demonstrator. “The government should stop politicising the environment and do something concrete about it.”
India’s Junior Interior Minister, Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh, said:
“The government will work overtime, to try and bring about laws and steps that will ensure that no other person and no other citizen of this country has to go through or undergoes the same kind of trauma.”
The woman who died was with her boyfriend when she attacked and thrown off the New Delhi bus.
Amid the calls for better policing and harsher punishment for rapists, the government has promised action to speed up sexual assault trials and improve women’s safety.