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India Mourns Rape Victim, New Year’s Celebrations Canceled

SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW DELHI) -- The Indian military and government canceled many New Year's celebrations there out of respect for the 23-year-old woman who died Sunday after she was brutally raped and beaten by a gang of men while riding on a bus two weeks ago.

Protesters in New Delhi took to the streets, calling for women's rights. Many Indians held a candlelight vigil for the woman.

The medical student, who was not identified, had been brought to Singapore for treatment, but physicians were unable to save her because of severe injuries to her body and brain.

Meanwhile, six men seized in connection with the attack face murder charges in the rape and assault that has spurred country-wide demonstrations about how women are treated in India.

India's governing Congress party head Sonia Gandhi has promised to change the social mindset that many say leads men to treat women as second-class citizens.

New Delhi officials have said they would institute a measure to better protect women that includes providing more police night patrols and changes on buses to make female passengers feel more secure.

However, those who back Gandhi believe the male-dominated government remains blind to the everyday problems women face and, in particular, how police often casually disregard rape allegations.

There are also concerns that if men are sentenced to die for rape, it will only make criminals more inclined to kill victims to keep them from testifying against them.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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