NEW DELHI: Issuing a fresh appeal for peace, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said government will look into delay in response in the gang rape 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 gang-raped 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 on Sunday, continued for the seventh day on Monday.
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 on Saturday 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.
Delhi turns into fortress:
The heart of the national capital turned into a fortress on Monday with heavy deployment of police who blocked roads leading to India Gate and Raisina Hill to ensure that no protests take place there but the arrangements put commuters at severe hardship.
Office goers and students were the most affected due to blockade of roads and closure of nine metro stations near India Gate and Raisina Hill.
In view of the incidents in the last two-three days, the venue of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimar Putin has been shifted to the Race Course residence of the Prime Minister.
Usually, such meetings are held in Hyderabad House which is close to India Gate, the scene of protests in the last two days.
Police blocked Rafi Marg from both sides and one carriage way of Ashoka Road, Copernicus Marg and other stretches around the India Gate.
Employees had a tough time reaching their offices in Krishi Bhavan, Shastri Bhavan, Rail Bhavan and Nirman Bhavan as police did not allow crossing Rajpath. Buses were diverted through longer routes.
There were heavy barricading on Rafi Marg and Raisina Road and employees heading to South Bloc and North Bloc had to argue with policemen and show their identity cards to them.
People heading to Connaught Place from South Delhi and vice versa had severe problems in commuting.
Media persons were also not allowed near India Gate or Raisina Hill and were asked to go to Pragati Maidan.
Chaos at Metro stations:
Meanwhile, chaos ruled outside Metro stations in Central Delhi on Monday morning as hundreds of people reached the stations unaware that they have been closed due to continuing protests at India Gate against the gang-rape of a young girl.
Nine stations, including the busiest Rajiv Chowk, was closed from early morning as people came only to be welcomed by boards that entry or exit to the stations will not be allowed today as per instructions from Delhi Police.
Rajiv Chowk sees the maximum footfall of over 5 lakh a day and shutting down of this station has caused much problems for people who were agitated and looked helpless.
Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course and Khan Market will remain closed till further orders, according to an advisory issued late last night by the Delhi Metro.
Eight stations, except Rajiv Chowk, remained closed on Sunday as well but there was not much impact as it was a holiday.
Though inter-change was allowed at Rajiv Chowk and Central Secretariat stations, it was not of much help to the people as stations nearby were also closed.
Radhika, a software professional who works at Parliament Street, said she was unaware that all stations near her office were closed today. She was shocked when the train did not stop at three stations continuously and heaved a sigh of relief when it stopped at Rajiv Chowk.
"But I was not allowed to exit from the station. I am stuck inside now. I don't know how to reach my office though it is less than a km from here," she said.
She was not alone, there were several hundreds of passengers who got stranded at the stations.
The stations will remain closed till further orders due to protests at India Gate. The stations have been closed to prevent people from reaching India Gate and other protest sites.
(With inputs from PTI)
source: Times of India
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