A policeman looks on at demonstrators during Sunday's protest at India Gate. (AFP)
New Delhi: After a weekend of violent protests in Delhi where the police clashed with protesters demanding justice for a young student who was gang-raped, the Prime Minister this morning addressed the nation.
Dr Mamnohan Singh, in his short televised statement, said, "As a father of three daughters, I feel as strongly as you," referring to the rage and demand for stricter laws that has engulfed the nation as the victim of the horrific act fights for her life in hospital in Delhi. "We will examine without delay all aspects of this crime and ensure that justice is served... we will keep the public informed about the steps we are taking," Dr Singh said. (Read full statement)
He appealed to "all sections of society to maintain peace and help us in our efforts," and said "violence will serve no purpose."
His address comes after widespread criticism that the government has failed to reach out to thousands of young students leading the movement for tougher anti-rape laws and better security for women in the capital.
A constable injured in yesterday's riots at India Gate had a heart attack and is in critical condition in hospital. The protests have been infiltrated by miscreants who set a car on fire and tried to molest some women demonstrators. The government has said that while it apologises for the police's use of tear-gas and water-cannons, the protests are being hijacked by hooligans. Nine metro stations near India Gate are closed today to prevent any protests.