This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
Prayers in memory of Damini
Around 100 adults and children said prayers yesterday for the 23-year-old medical student whose rape and murder in India provoked international outrage.
They gathered at the Shree Sanatan Mandir Hindu temple, in Belgrave, Leicester, for the hour-long ceremony which included the singing of devotional songs.
Ramanbhai Barber MBE, president of Shree Sanatan Mandir, said the congregation was united in its horror at what had happened to Jyoti Singh Pandey – known as Damini – who was attacked and raped on a bus in Delhi, before being thrown off the moving vehicle.She died in hospital.
The congregation is to write to the Indian High Commission in London calling for tougher laws to prevent similar attacks in the future.
Mr Barber said: "We all prayed and sang bhajans to grant peace to Damini.
"We need strong laws to stop these gangs who have forgotten our morals and values. We urge the Indian Government to take steps to ensure this.
"Damini is everyone's loss, and we all wish she was still alive. We hope she rests in peace."
Mr Barber said a lot of people travel to India, and added: "We should feel safe and secure to travel without fear.
"We want assurance that travel to Delhi, or any part of India, will be safe for our sisters and mothers."