India will become a demonstrably safer place for women: PM

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) Expressing his deepest condolences at the death of the young gang-rape victim, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday it was up to "us all to ensure that her death will not have been in vain" and India becomes "a demonstrably better and safer place for women to live in."

The prime minister said he joined the nation

"in conveying to her family and friends" his deepest condolences at this "terrible loss".

"I want to tell them and the nation that while she may have lost her battle for life, it is up to us all to ensure that her death will not have been in vain.

"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," the prime minister said in his message..

It would be a true homage to her memory, Manmohan Singh added, if we are able to channelize these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action.

"The need of the hour is a dispassionate debate and inquiry into the critical changes that are required in societal attitudes. Government is examining, on priority basis, the penal provisions that exist for such crimes and measures to enhance the safety and security of women," he said in his statement.

The prime minister expressed the hope that "that the entire political class and civil society will set aside narrow sectional interests and agenda to help us all reach the end that we all desire - making India a demonstrably better and safer place for women to live in".

"I pray for the peace of the departed soul and hope that her family will have the strength to bear this grievous loss," he said.