To pay respect to the gang rape victim who lost her life on Saturday, President Pranab Mukherjee has decided to cancel New Year celebrations and appealed to people to not visit and greet him at the retreat ‘Rashtrapati Nilayam’ in Hyderabad, Press Secretary to the President Venu Rajamony said.

“The President has, however, conveyed his best wishes to people for a prosperous and protective New Year. He has urged all citizens to maintain peace, face challenges and strive towards building a strong nation,” Mr. Rajamony said.

Mr. Mukherjee, who was in Mumbai on Sunday, cancelled all celebration programmes including the ‘At Home’ function being hosted by Maharashtra Governor K.S. Sankaranarayanan.

In his greeting to the nation, Mr. Mukherjee said: “We mark the advent of the New Year under a pall of gloom, as the nation mourns the tragic loss of a brave young girl, who became the victim of a heinous crime. Let us dedicate 2013 to improving the security and welfare of women in our country. Let us use this moment to introspect and earnestly seek ways in which we can address the mindset which lies at the root of such incidents in order that we may achieve dignity and equality for women in our country.”

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