Political parties were today united in demanding stronger laws to deal with crime against women as President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh joined the nation in mourning the death of the 23-year-old gangrape victim.
Describing the girl as a "brave daughter of India" and a "true hero", Mukherjee said all steps to bring the perpetrators of this "ghastly crime" to justice should be taken to ensure that her death will not be in vain.
Singh hoped that the entire political class and civil society will set aside narrow sectional interests and agenda to make India a demonstrably safer place to live in.
"We have already seen the emotions and energies this incident has generated. These are perfectly understandable reactions from a young India and an India that genuinely desires change. It would be a true homage to her memory if we are able to channelise these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action," he said
Both Mukherjee and Singh said the country should resolve that her death will not be in vain.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi also condoled the death of the gangrape victim.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley sought better laws and an environment where women are safe.
"We must now introspect as to how we can improve our laws, our judicial processes and most importantly the consciousness of the citizenry which creates a better environment where women can live with dignity," Jaitley said.
The girl, who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted by six men in a moving bus in south Delhi, died in a Singapore hospital early this morning after battling for life for the past 13 days.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said the "fearless girl" had become a "powerful symbol" of the ongoing battle to ensure justice for women and effect social change.
"In her untimely and sad demise, we have lost a courageous daughter of our country who faced life with tremendous strength and fortitude...She will continue to inspire us for all times to come," Kumar said.
Vice President Hamid Ansari said every Indian was today feeling the sense of loss as we all had come to identify with the braveheart as she fought valiantly for her life," he said.
Ansari expressed hope that this tragedy would compel people to focus on social norms and practices which are violative of human rights and an impediment to progress in the modern world.
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the death of the girl has shaken the conscience of the nation.
"We must wake up and make India safe for daughters," she said.
BSP chief Mayawati wanted the Centre to enact stringent laws to deal with cases of crime against women.
"Stringent law should be framed to check various type of harrassment of women and for their security. The Centre should take stringent measures without any delay and frame a stringent law," she said.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde pledged to strengthen laws to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.
He said that the real tribute to the 23-year-old victim will be to ensure maximum punishment to the culprits.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit appealed to people to maintain peace and calm against the backdrop of violent demonstrations last weekend over the gang-rape incident.
Eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani demanded a quick trial and quick punishment to the culprits of the gangrape.
"I hope the trial is quick and results in quick punishment. Ultimately, justice must be done.. the trial should be over in two months," said Jethmalani, Rajya Sabha member.