Amid sharp criticism for using tear gas shells and water canons to disperse protestors demanding justice for the 23-year-old gang-rape victim, Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh on Saturday appealed to the people not to resort to any violence, and said that the government will take strict measures and actions against the rapists.
"I am definitely not justifying the use of tear gas and water canon. But when protestors start breaking government property, start vandalising buses, start breaking barricades. But today, at this very moment, (if) people have gathered at the India Gate in a peaceful way nobody is stopping them," said Singh.
"There are some people who are trying to make it into unruly, which will actually defeat the purpose of this whole gathering that the youth of this city want to do. I would appeal to them not to resort to any violence. The government is hearing them loud and clear," he added.
The Minister of State for Home further reiterated that the government has assured the people of Delhi and the country that strictest measures and actions will be taken against the rapists.
" The government will ensure that whatever steps have to be taken to ensure the safety of women in this country, will be taken. We are hearing their voices. We are open to their suggestions. We are open to dialogue with the people of this city, be it girls or boys, but they have to do it an orderly manner," he added.
Taking potshots at the Congress-led UPA Government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier today said the government's move to use water canons and baton charge women and youth protesting over the brutal gang-rape would add more fuel to the fire.
BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it is a spontaneous reaction of the people, and not a programme organised by any political party or organisation.
There was chaos outside the North Block here this morning as the police resorted to baton charge and used water cannons to dispel the scores of protestors demanding the safety of women.
Hundreds of young students marched towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan here demanding justice for the gang-rape victim. Former Army Chief General (Retd.)
V.K. Singh joined the protestors at the India Gate.
The young students, who marched through Rajpath towards Raisina Hill where Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister's Office and Home Ministry are located. They broke the security cordon erected on Rajpath and managed to reach near Raisina Hills where they were stopped.
Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh earlier on Friday said the government would demand life punishment for those accused of the gang-rape of a girl on a moving bus.
Singh, who lauded the Delhi Police for prompt action in this case, said misbehaviour with women will not be tolerated and police action will be visible on the ground.
Delhi Police submitted its status report to the high court on Friday in connection with this case. The court, however, pulled up the Delhi Police and asked whether any action has been taken against erring officials who were on duty on the day.
The girl, who, is presently being treated at the Safdarjung Hospital here, is said to psychologically stable. (ANI)