Khurshid: Decision to shift victim to Singapore purely a medical call

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Friday said the decision to shift the Delhi gangrape victim to Singapore was "purely a medical decision" and there was no political interference in the matter.

"The shifting was not done due to some political reasons. It was done for medical purposes. It was purely a medical decision taken by the doctors," Khurshid said when asked about reports that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was instrumental in shifting of the rape victim.

In her first public remarks on the matter, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said their thoughts were with the victim. She chose not to address the gathering or give her customary New Year wishes at the flag-hoisting at AICC headquarters on the occasion of the 127th foundation day of the Congress. "Not so today because our thoughts are with the young woman, who is fighting for her life after the barbarous attack," she said. "Our only wish today is that she recovers and comes back to us and that no time is lost in bringing the perpetrators of such a barbarous act to justice."

Speaking to The Indian Express, Minister of State for Home R P N Singh denied that the victim had been shifted to avoid any "law and order" situation, saying only the desire to give her the best medical facilities had prompted the move.

"Unfortunately lower-abdomen transplants have not taken place in India, so a decision to airlift her to the Singapore hospital with all the available resources," Singh said, adding that the victim's family was taken into confidence and she could not have been shifted without their consent.

"The air ambulance in which she was shifted was like an ICU. If there was any kind of threat to her health, we would not have taken the step. The doctors at Safdarjung Hospital did a wonderful job," he said.

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