Sonia, Rahul visit victim's family
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"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.
He said Sonia 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.
"The two 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 said.
The two then went up to the first floor of the house, to the victim's room, and spent some time there, going through her belongings, including her books, shoes and clothes.
The family also asked the two about the ruling of the Juvenile Justice Board declaring the sixth accused in the case a juvenile. "They told us their hands are tied before the law of the country, and they cannot do anything against the court's verdict," the brother said.
He added that Sonia mentioned the proposed amendments to criminal laws dealing with sexual assault cases. "Soniaji told us the amendments would go to the President on Monday. We hope this will bring some positive change in the law," he said.
The family also expressed its unhappiness about the location of the MIG flat the PMO has proposed to give them. "We had been told the flat 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 Dwaraka," the brother said.
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