New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday addressed the nation on the Delhi gangrape issue and appealed for peace. In his short address to the people of India, Singh said that while the "anger about the crime was justified, violence was not". He assured that the government would make all efforts to ensure the safety of women in the country.
"As a father of three daughters myself, I feel as
strongly about this as each one of you. My wife, my family and I are all joined in our concern for the young woman who was the survivor of this heinous crime," he said in his address. Appealing to maintain peace, Singh said: "I appeal to all sections of the society to maintain peace and help us in our efforts."
"Anger for this crime is justified but not violence. Let's pray for her and her loved ones," he said. "I assure you that we will make all possible efforts to
ensure security and safety to all women in this country," the Prime Minister added in his address. He assured that the government "will examine into delay not only the responses to this terrible crime but also all aspects concerning the safety
and security of women."
Breaking his silence on the gangrape case of a 23-year-old woman, who was brutally raped and beaten up in a moving bus in the national capital on the fateful night of November 17, Singh had on Sunday night said that the public anger was "genuine" and "justified" but appealed for peace while promising all steps to ensure safety of women in the country.
Thousands of protesters in Delhi took to the streets on Saturday and Sunday demanding justice for the rape survivor and death penalty for the culprits. The Prime Minister also expressed sadness over the turn of events that led to clashes between the angry protesters and the police at India Gate on Sunday.
"We are all joined in our concern for the young woman who was the victim of a heinous crime in Delhi. There is genuine and justified anger and anguish at this ghastly incident. We are constantly monitoring her medical condition. Let us all pray for her and her loved ones during this critical time," he said in a statement.
"I feel deeply sad at the turn of events leading to clashes between protesters and police forces. I appeal to all concerned citizens to maintain peace and calm," he added. The Prime Minister's statement came as protests continued for the sixth day on Sunday and turned violent.
Assuring safety and security of women across the country, Singh in his statement said, "I assure you that we will make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety to all women in this country. I seek the cooperation of all sections of the society to help us in this endeavour and maintain peace."
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. Though earlier the meeting was to take place at Hyderabad House in Delhi, due to law and order concerns Singh said he'll meet Putin at his residence 7 RCR.
(With additional information from PTI)