Sonia, Rahul visit victim's family

DGR

A day after the Cabinet cleared an ordinance providing for harsher punishment for sexual crimes against women, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul called on the family of the Delhi gangrape victim Saturday to indicate to them that they had not been forgotten, the party spokesperson said.

"Soniaji and her (victim's) mother hugged each other and both had tears in their eyes," Congress MP and spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury, who had accompanied Sonia, told The Sunday Express. She said Sonia decided to visit the family as she felt she had to meet them again so that the family does not feel it has been forgotten.

"Even the girl's family did not know that they were coming. The girl's mother told Soniaji that 'you can understand my grief because you and your family have lost so much'," Chowdhury said.

While Sonia had met the family earlier, it was the first time Rahul was meeting them. He had issued a condolence message 13 days after the gangrape after being criticised for his silence on the incident. After he took over as the party's vice-president, he stepped around a question on whether the Congress was committed to a strong anti-rape law and had chosen to focus on what he wanted to do in his new role.

"Her father said his daughter had created so much awakening in the country and phir woh so gayee (she slept). The parents told Soniaji that their children were her children now and she has to look after them," said Chowdhury.

The victim's brother said Sonia recalled how brave his sister had been on both occasions when she met her at the ICU in Safdarjung hospital. "We were meeting Rahulji for the first time. He asked us about our studies and what we planned to do in life and even shared his phone number," the brother said.

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