Danielle McLaughlin, from Donegal, was found dead on Tuesday morning in a field between Agonda and Palolem beach, in Goa, southern India.
She had arrived in India on February 23rd for a six month trip and had spent time in North Goa before arriving in Agonda and Palolem last weekend.
On Monday she had spent time with friends she had made in India and was celebrating the Holi festival before she was last seen at Green Park beach resort with three Indian men at around 8.30pm.
Danielle did not 'deserve the suffering and pain she endured' say her friends as they repatriate her body and demand 'justice be served'
The best friend of rape and murder victim Danielle McLaughlin today called on people in Goa to 'stand-up to the criminals' who shelter among their close-knit communities to prey on foreign tourists with impunity.
In a moving public statement childhood friend Nicole Farren demanded 'justice be served' for the 28-year-old backpacker who was sexually assaulted and killed at the idyllic beach-front resort of Palolem on Monday night.
The young Irish woman reminded an audience of mostly ex-pats that murderers of foreign tourists in Goa had escaped justice before but called on the locals to make a stand against the 'powerful' criminals who remain beyond the law.
'We understand that there have been cases of tourists who have been murdered in the past which were quickly solved by the police,' said Ms Farren, 26, from, Danielle's home town of Buncrana, Donegal.
'But after the trial these criminals have been acquitted.
'We sincerely hope that this will not happen in the case of our Danielle.'
Indian police have faced severe criticism for failing to jail suspects in previous tourist killings - particularly the rape and murder of 15-year-old schoolgirl Scarlett Keeling at Anjuna Beach in 2008.
Prime suspects Samson D'Souza and Placido Carvalho were cleared by an Indian court.
The suspicious death of tourist Felix Dahl, 22, from Finland, at nearby Patnum beach remains unsolved.
Ms Farren had travelled to India from Australia with fellow friend Sheridan Smith to repatriate Danielle's body to Ireland.
'We want justice for Danielle, she deserves justice,' she said.
Ms Farren said she understood the huge 'power' enjoyed by criminal gangs in Goa beach resorts but urged local people to come forward with all the information they had to bring Danielle's abusers to justice.
'We understand there is a lot of pressure on you the local people to protect criminals operating in the area who have a lot of power,' she said.
'Sometimes it is time to stand up and take a stand and say 'No, Enough is Enough'.
'If you stand up together, many of you, and tell what you know these criminals will lose their power over you. You are stronger than they are if you are together.
'We all want the same thing – justice – so let's do it together.'
Sheridan Smith, 25, from Melbourne, Australia said Danielle did not 'deserve the suffering and pain she endured'.
She added: 'Because Danielle's voice has been silenced we are here to represent her and make sure appropriate measures are taken and justice is served. We know that she would want us to speak up.'
Playing tribute to the 28-year-old university graduate Ms Smith said: 'Danielle lived life to the fullest and was such a vibrant soul.
'She brought so much light, love and laughter where ever she went and whoever she met along the way.'
Ms Smith said she and Ms Farren had been buoyed by the support from around the world for the arduous task of coming 'to Goa to take Danielle home as quickly as possible'.
She thanked the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust Foundation and staff from the British and Irish Embassies in India for their help 'every step of the way'.
Danielle McLauglin's body is expected to leave India as early as Monday as official certificates and notifications from police and government officials have already been approved.
EXCLUSIVE: Family of man who is accused of raping and murdering British backpacker speak of their 'shock and devastation' Helen Roberts Nick Fagge In Goa Mailonline 19 March 2017