DUBAI // The Indian consulate in Dubai yesterday cancelled a planned vigil for the killed victim of a gang rape in New Delhi.
Less than two hours after the consulate said it would hold the event in memory of the physiotherapy student and invited people to bring candles and flowers, it announced the vigil had been called off.
There has been an outpouring of anger and grief in Indian cities since the woman was beaten, raped and thrown out of a moving bus two weeks ago. She was flown to Singapore for treatment for internal injuries, but died on Saturday.
“News of the demise of the unfortunate 23-year-old victim of the infamous Delhi gang rape has shocked and saddened all of us,” the consulate wrote on its Facebook page. “The consulate general of India, Dubai, pays homage to the outpourings of grief among Indian citizens in the UAE who have been reaching out to us.
“However, due to unforeseen circumstances, we will not be holding the candlelit condolence meet.
“We urge all Indians to please disregard any messages circulating in the media, or on our Facebook page.”
Despite the cancellation, a small group of people arrived at the event and observed a moment of silence.
Consular officials did not explain the decision.
The announcement was met with disappointment and anger by Indian expatriates. “We should have a right to express our feelings and share our support for India’s daughter,” Muskaan Manghnani wrote on the consulate’s Facebook page. “Truly disappointed that the vigil has been cancelled.”
Aakriti Thakur wrote: “Is it such a big task to extend our support to people in our home country who are supporting the cause?”
Hours after the cancellation, Indians were still sending BlackBerry messages urging fellow expatriates to attend the vigil, which was supposed to start at 6pm yesterday.