India Gang Rape Victim's Ashes Scattered Over Ganges

The ashes of the 23-year-old student who died after being brutally gang-raped in New Delhi have been scattered over the river Ganges.

Her horrific death has prompted a national outpouring of grief and angry protests against a government which is perceived to have done little to tackle violence against women.

The attack has prompted protests

Hundreds lined the banks of the sacred river in Bhahrauli, 600 miles from Delhi, to pay their respects alongside the victim's family. The funeral procession took over three hours to cover five miles, the crowds were so great, reported the Times of India.

Her brother has called for her attackers to be hanged, telling the Indian Express: "The fight has just begun. We want all the accused hanged, and we will fight for that, till the end."

Amid a renewed campaign to tackle the widespread and often unreported incidences of violence against women, Bollywood rapper Honey Singh was forced to cancel his new year show, after an online campaign against his sexist lyrics.

rapper Honey Singh

The chart-topping singer has found success with tracks such as 'Prostitute', which contains the lyrics: "You will scream and run but where can you go... I will take your life."

The petition against him states:

These pornographic lyrics are unacceptable and it is because of women hating sentiments like these that men think that it's fine to do what they did on that bus, that December night in Delhi.

He has been accused of singing 'rape rap' and has sought to distance himself from his songs.

A notice by lawyer Pragyan Pradip Sharma, on behalf of Singh, read: "My client has already written to various digital platforms to immediately take down the video/songs and is also considering appropriate legal action for defamation, loss of reputation and violation of privacy," the Hindustan Times reported.

The nation has been galvanised into action after details of the horrific attack were published.

During the rape, the victim was attacked by six men on a bus. A metal rod was inserted in her body as the bus drove around for 40 minutes. The sustained attack resulted in the removal of almost all of her intestines.

The victim and a male friend, who was also attacked, were thrown from the bus while it was still moving. Police in Delhi said the bus then tried to mow them down.

The unidentified woman died after suffering multiple organ failure and a heart attack. Many New Year celebrations were scaled back amid the outpouring of grief. The army cancelled its official celebrations as well as parties in Punjab state and Haryana, according to the BBC.

Six people have been arrested for the attack. The suspects are likely to face the death penalty if found guilty, despite the sentence rarely being passed in India.

A DNA test is currently being conducted on the sixth suspect as he claims to be under 18, reported the Hindustan Times. Under Indian law juveniles cannot be prosecuted for murder.

Angry protestors have called for the men to be hanged or even castrated. The Times of India reported that rape has caused lots of women to apply for gun licences and police have been flooded with enquires as to how to obtain a firearm.

Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, issued a message of condolence recognising the "emotions and energies" the incident had caused.

He said: "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 channel these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action."

The issue of violence against woman in India was made even starker as it was reported that a rape victim committed suicide in recent days after police took 44 days to take action against her attackers.