'Victim shifted for medical reasons'

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday asserted that the decision to shift the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim to Singapore was purely on medical grounds and had no political overtures whatsoever. Shinde reiterated that the move came after doctors’ advice.

Countering questions from journalists, Shinde asked if shifting the girl to Singapore meant that doctors in India were not competent to handle a complicated case and added that the government held prior consultations with specialists before sending her abroad.  

He said that doctors at the Safdarjung hospital, where the girl was being treated till Wednesday, and several specialists including leading cardiologist Dr Naresh Trehan were consulted with the sole intention of providing the best treatment to the victim.    

He also denied media reports of some doctors at Safdarjung hospital feeling aggrieved over the government not including them in the medical contingent that accompanied the girl in an air ambulance to Singapore. “Those needed must have been sent,” he remarked.

The government, he emphasised, was willing to provide her treatment anywhere in the world, including Singapore, London and the USA.External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid also defended the government’s decision and said it was purely based on medical grounds and there was no political interference in the matter. According to him, the government only gave logistic support like providing passports, hospitalisation and boarding and lodging for the family.

“The girl was not shifted due to some political reasons. It was done for medical purposes. It was purely a medical decision take by the doctors’,” Khurshid said when asked about reports that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was instrumental in shifting the gang-rape victim. Some media reports suggested political pressure in flying the 23-year-old out of the country. Making a statement for the first time on the issue, Congress president Sonia Gandhi sought immediate action against the perpetrators of the “barbarous” attack and hoped for the victim’s speedy recovery.

Comments (+)