New Delhi, Dec 28: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi today stressed that no time should be lost in bringing the perpetrators of the barbaric gangrape to justice while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the guilty will not be spared.
Addressing the media on the sidelines of the 127th Foundation Day of Congress at AICC headquarters here, both Gandhi and Singh said they shared the anguish and the anger of the country over the Dec 16 incident.Gandhi, who usually extends New Year wishes on this occasion skipped doing so, saying, "Our thoughts are with the young woman, who is fighting for her life after the barbarous attack on her."
"And our only wish today is that she recovers and that comes back to us and that no time is lost in bringing the perpetrators of such barbarous act to justice," Gandhi said in a voice choked with emotions after hoisting the party flag at 24 Akbar Road.
The Prime Minister, who stood by her side, gave the assurance that "our government is committed to bringing the guilty to justice as soon as possible."
Asked about the government's initiatives for speedy trial of rape accused, the Prime Minister said the government has appointed a committee under Justice JS Verma, former Chief Justice of India, to suggest ways and means for modifications in the laws related to crime against women.
"The Congress President has mentioned that we share the anguish and the anger of the country over this heinous crime. Our prayers are with the brave young girl and that best possible medical care is being provided to her," Singh said.
He said that a committee under Justice Usha Mehra, a former Delhi High Court judge, has also been appointed to examine if there were any lapses on anybody's part in the aftermath of the incident.
"So, you have my assurance that our government is committed to bringing the guilty to justice as soon as possible," Singh said.
After unfurling the Congress flag earlier, Gandhi said, "Today is the anniversary of the foundation day of Indian National Congress and we remember all those great men and women, who fought for our freedom, to free our country from the British."
She said, "The 28th (of December) being a day so close to the New Year, we normally wish each other but not so today because our thoughts are with the young woman, who is fighting for her life after the barbarous attack on her."
The 23-year-old victim is currently being treated in a super-speciality hospital in Singapore at state expense. Gandhi also held a meeting in her party office with the Prime Minister and senior ministers and Congress leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
Shinde was seen talking to Dikshit for quite sometime during the function. Earlier, a controversy had broken out between the Delhi Chief Minister and the Delhi Police Commissioner after Dikshit wrote to the Home Minister against alleged attempt by the police to interfere in the probe into the gangrape case.
Rahul Gandhi was not present during the ceremony marking the completion of 127 years of the formation of Congress. Senior ministers and party leaders attended the programme. Similar programmes were organised in state and district party headquarters where leaders of respective regions participated.