The Congress on Monday denied that the cremation of the gang-rape victim was done in secrecy, saying it was held quietly in accordance with the wishes of the woman's family.
"Nothing was done without the consent of the family, and their wish for privacy... they wanted it," said Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury here.
Addressing a news conference, Chowdhury said the quiet cremation, held at 7.30 a.m. Sunday a few hours after the body was brought here from Singapore, is "what the family wanted... and we must respect that. There is no question of it being done secretly".
She added that the country must "collectively work" to make society safer for women. "We need to sensitise society, the media, citizens, the government - all need to play a collective role for zero tolerance for such crimes."
The 23-year-old woman, who was gang-raped on a moving bus here on December 16, died in a Singapore hospital early Saturday. Her body was flown to India at 3.30 am Sunday and the cremation was held within a few hours.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has slammed the secrecy surrounding the cremation, and accused the government of enacting a "drama" over it.