New Delhi: Former army chief General (Retd) VK Singh on Monday accused Delhi Police of using "excessive force" on people protesting the gang-rape of a woman and demanded that the capital's police be brought under the control of the Delhi government.
"Excessive force has been used. The police have been abusive and have done things which were not required. Delhi Police should be brought under the Delhi chief minister," Singh said.
Hundreds of protesters, most of them youngsters, had protested at India Gate following the December 16 gangrape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi. Police had used batons, tear-gas shells and water cannons to disperse the protesters.
Several protesters and security personnel had been injured in the clashes. Delhi Police constable Subhash Chand Tomar died after collapsing on the road during the protests.
Singh blamed the government and the opposition for not understanding the "anger of the youth" and said that the "government and the opposition have failed us".
"I completely support the youths and their anger is justified. If people want laws to protect their mothers and sisters, then the government and opposition should work on it," Singh said.
He added that a special session of parliament should be called to frame laws that ensure safety of women.
Reacting to comments by some politicians that women should "dress appropriately", Singh said the problem was not with clothes but with the mindsets of such people, which needs to be changed.
"We need to respect women and if we can't do that, we shouldn't consider ourselves humans. There is a need to instill fear in the minds of those who commit crimes against women," he said.
"Even the death penalty is less" for rapists, he said.