Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and home minister Sushilkumar Shinde to take "appropriate and immediate action to protect women", party sources said on Saturday, a day that saw massive protests at Raisina Hill over the brutal gangrape of a woman in New Delhi on December 16.
Raisina Hill, the country's highest seat of power, which leads to the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan, turned into a virtual battlefield Saturday with thousands of angry protesters demanding justice for the 23-year-old gangrape victim.
"The Congress president called up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and asked them to take appropriate and immediate action to protect women," Congress sources told IANS.
She said it was imperative that police and other agencies are sensitised to the danger "our daughters, sisters and mothers face everyday".
"Security agencies must be motivated to deal with this menace. I hope you will initiate immediate action to remedy the situation," she wrote to Shinde.
"It is a shame for all of us who are responsible for security of our cities that a young woman can be raped in a moving bus in the capital city and flung on to the street," the Congress president added.
In her letter to Dikshit, Sonia Gandhi said there was an urgent need to demonstrate "our sincerity and determination" in improving security of women.
"I would urge you to take whatever steps are necessary to undertake community action to strengthen law and order and to step up vigilance to protect women," Gandhi wrote.
She added: "It is a matter of shame that these incidents recur with painful regularity... Such violence and criminality need not only to be condemned, it calls for a concerted effort to fight it."
Hundreds of people Friday took out a candle-light march outside 10 Janpath, the official residence of Sonia Gandhi, shouting slogans and demanding justice for the gang-rape victim.
Sonia Gandhi had expressed horror Tuesday at the ghastly gang-rape and asked Shinde and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to take urgent action to improve security of "daughters, sisters and mothers".
The brutal rape and torture occurred Sunday night when the girl and her male friend boarded a private bus at Munirka in south Delhi to go to Dwarka in west Delhi after watching a movie. The woman was beaten up and raped by six men inside the bus.
All the accused have been arrested.
Earlier, the Congress president visited Safdarjung Hospital and met doctors treating the woman.