NEW DELHI: Sonia Gandhi has promised to give an MIG (middle-income group) apartment to the family of the Delhi rape victim.
The Congress president, accompanied by her son Rahul Gandhi, met the victim’s family here on Saturday.
The grieving family has returned from their native village in Ballia district in Uttar Pradesh after performing religious rituals for their 23-year-old daughter who was gangraped, brutally beaten and then thrown off a moving bus on the night of December 16. She died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.
Sonia consoled the family and assured them of strict punishment for the accused who are facing trial in a fast-track court. She also assured that the government will grant them a MIG apartment soon.
“Soniaji and her (victim’s) mother hugged each other and both had tears in their eyes,” Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury, who accompanied Sonia, was quoted as saying by The Sunday Express.
“The girl’s mother told Soniaji that ‘you can understand my grief because you and your family have lost so much’.
“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,” Chowdhury was quoted as saying.
Sonia, who had met the victim in Delhi’s Safdarjang Hospital, visited the victim’s room, went through her physiotherapy course books and even saw her clothes that have been packed into bundles in shelves in her room, report quoted the victim’s brother as saying.
The brother said Rahul Gandhi asked about “our studies and what we planned to do in life and even shared his phone number.”
He said, “The two (Sonia and Rahul) spent an hour in our house. Sonia Gandhi sat with my mother, hugged her, and wanted to know about my sister, what her hobbies were, and what she liked to read, etc. When we told her she liked reading, she went through her books, and even read my sister’s resume which was saved on her laptop.’’
The 20-year-old brother of the victim said that Sonia and Rahul also went up to the first floor of the house, to the victim’s room, and they spent some time there, going through her belongings, including her books, shoes and clothes.
Since one of the accused has been declared a juvenile by the Juvenile Justice Board, the family wanted to know from the Gandhis what action the government planned on this issue.
The Express report said the victim’s family also expressed its unhappiness about the location of the MIG apartment the PMO has proposed to give them.
“We had been told the flat (apartment) was on the outskirts of the city, far away from our current residence, somewhere in Bawana. My mother told Soniaji that we want to stay somewhere closer, so Soniaji told us we will be getting a flat possibly in Dwarka,” the victim’s brother said.
The visit by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul comes a day after the Indian government promulgated an ordinance providing for harsher punishment, including death sentence, in rape cases.