Sonia Gandhi meets gang-rape victim's family, cries

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi hugged the mother of the dead gang-raped victim several times and both women cried, as the UPA chairperson Saturday evening went to "share the sorrow" of the family of the 23-year-old woman whose brutal rape led to nationwide outrage.

Sonia Gandhi along with her son, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, and some MPs went to the victim's house in south west Delhi and were there for an hour, from 6 p.m. onwards. The visit came on a day a city court framed charges against five of the six rapists.

"Sonia Gandhi and the woman's mother held hands, and both hugged several times and cried," a source who was present at the meeting told IANS.

"There was no agenda to Sonia Gandhi meeting the family.. they just went to express solidarity with the parents of the young woman," the source added.

"Sonia Gandhi told them she had wanted to meet them earlier, and assured that justice will be done."

This was the first formal meeting between the United Progressive Alliance chairperson and the woman's family. Sonia Gandhi along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had gone to receive the body of the trainee physiotherapist when it arrived from Singapore Dec 30 early morning.

The Gandhis shared tea with the family, which was served by the victim's mother, the source added.

Rahul Gandhi sat next to the father and her two younger brothers and discussed the case with them. "He shared his feelings about the incident with them," the source said.

The victim's family remarked that the Gandhis too had gone through loss in life, the source said. Sonia Gandhi's mother-in-law, former prime minister Indira Gandhi, and her husband former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, were assassinated.

The mother told Sonia about what all her daughter had gone through - from the Dec 16 gang-rape on a bus, to her long battle with life in Safdarjang Hospital for 13 days, and then in a Singapore hospital where she died of multi-organ failure on Dec 29.

Both sides also discussed the mass outrage over the gang-rape and death, and the victim's family voiced their sadness over the protest violence and the death of a Delhi Police constable, the source said.

"The parents wished Rahul Gandhi on his becoming the Congress vice president," the source added.

The trainee physiotherapist was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus on Dec 16 night and she and her male friend were thrown off the bus after an hour, bloodied and naked. The case led to nationwide outrage and demand for strengthening anti-rape laws.

The government has passed an ordinance strengthening laws against sexual harrassment.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of the Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusia… More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »