Delhi anti-rape protests: PM makes fresh appeal for peace; BJP lashes out at 'inaction'

Delhi anti-rape protest
Issuing a fresh appeal for peace, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said government will look into delay in response in the gangrape case as also all aspects concerning the security of women while asking people to desist from violence.

In a televised address, Singh said he and his family join in the concern for the 23-year-old victim, who was gangraped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16 night.

"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 victim of this heinous crime."

He said the government was constantly monitoring her medical condition.

His statement came as protests, which turned violent yesterday, continued for the seventh day today.

Emphasising that anger at this crime is "justified", Singh said, "but violence will serve no purpose."

Singh noted that Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has already spoken about the steps being taken to address issues regarding safety of women in the country.

"We will examine into delay not only the responses to this terrible crime but also all aspects concerning the safety and security of women," he said.

Singh broke his silence on the issue last night when he issued a similar statement saying public anger is "genuine" and "justified".

Singh had also expressed sadness over the turn of events that led to clashes between the angry protesters and the police and appealed for peace and calm.

Gang-rape: BJP takes on UPA, says 'PM's message was disappointing'

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday lashed out at Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh over his televised address to the nation following violent protests demanding justice for the 23-year-old gang-rape victim, saying the latter's speech was disappointing.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said Dr. Singh failed to give any promise or reassure the country about the steps being taken by the Congress-led UPA II Government at the Centre.

"The Prime Minister's message was disappointing. First he did not speak a word when the whole nation is agitated for the last one week, now he has said it. But he did not give any promise or he could not reassure the country that the government is taking certain steps," said Javadekar.

"There are two demands, which are coming from the people, one there has to be a time-bound solution and there has to be more stringent laws," he added.

Javadekar said the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, and the BJP has given suggestions to the ruling UPA Government to convene a Special Session of Parliament and hold an all-party meeting to discus the contentious issue and come up with a solution in the interests of the nation.

"Sushma Swaraj and the BJP, has given real suggestions, very positive suggestions that there should be one week Special Parliament Session and there should be all-party meeting. The government should have lapped these two good suggestions. Instead of accepting it, they are rejecting it as if this is something against the government," said Javadekar.

"This is to reassure the nation that here is a Parliament, here is a democracy which is working and which will discuss the whole law and order situation, how make a law work because in India it is not the absence of laws in many cases, which is the matter of concern. The matter of concern is that there is no implementation of the laws passed and that is the concern, anguish of the people. And that is why we need to reassure the country through these two measures," he added.

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj had earlier on Saturday urged the Prime Minister to convene a Special Session of Parliament for amending the existing law to provide death sentence for heinous crimes against women.

"I have just spoken to Prime Minister. I requested Prime Minister for a special session of Parliament to frame a law to provide for exemplary punishment for crimes against women," she tweeted.

The condition of the 23-year-old girl, who is presently being treated at the Safdarjung Hospital here, continues to be critical.

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