iconimg Saturday, March 28, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 21, 2013
President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday sought strong action against the perpetrator of the heinous rape of a five-year-old girl in Delhi while Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday visited the victim at AIIMS.

Gandhi went to AIIMS in the evening and visited the girl in her room. She enquired about her treatment and progress from the doctors and spoke with her parents.

Earlier, Gandhi had sent out a tough message to authorities that “action and not words” are required to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already issued a statement, saying he is deeply disturbed to hear the news of the shameful incident. While directing the officials concerned to provide best possible medical care to the victim, he termed “completely unacceptable” the police action against women protestors.

The response from the Congress leadership this time is in sharp contrast to December last year when it was heavily criticised for misjudging the public anger over the death of a 23-year-old student who was gang-raped in a moving bus in Delhi.

In a statement, the President expressed shock and anguish at the latest incident. “I join her family in praying for a speedy recovery and call upon authorities concerned to ensure the best possible medical attention for her,” he said, demanding urgent steps to bring the perpetrators to immediate justice.

“As a society, we must introspect at the erosion of values and our repeated failure to ensure the security of our women and children. We must identify the causes and find solutions for such criminal depravity in our midst,” Mukherjee added. 

On his part, Ansari called for self-reflection over recurrence of such incidents in the society and urged to change the regressive mindset towards women.