Shinde equate rape protesters with Maoists?

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 24, 2012 10:00 hrs

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde seemed to have equated protesters agitating against the Delhi gangrape case with armed 'Maoists'.

"It´s very easy to say that the Home Minister should go meet protesters there. Tomorrow if BJP workers demonstrate or if Maoists demonstrate with weapons, will I go and meet them too?" Shinde told IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai.

Shinde made the comments in the wake of Sunday´s protester-cop clashes in the national capital left more than 140 people, including nearly 80 policemen injured.

"We face criticism from all ends. Rashtrapati Bhawan is a prestigious house for the country and protesters were breaking down public property," Shinde said.

"When it went out of hands, hooligans joined the protesters, we had to act and use force. One policeman is seriously injured. We can´t identify the goons in 3,000 people," he said.

"I have already put my officers on job to inquire on what happened at India Gate. We will inquire who are the groups, we will arrest and bring them to book," Shinde said," Shinde said.

He said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was serious about the safety of women.

"We all have daughters and we are serious about their safety. We expect media to assist us in this great work," Shinde said.

Meanwhile, as protests sweep New Delhi over the gangrape and brutalization of a medical student on a moving bus, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday reassured action and made an emotional appeal for the second time to people to maintain peace in the wake of Sunday´s protester-cop clashes that left more than 140 people, including nearly 80 policemen injured.

Speaking to the nation in televised message, Singh said: " As the 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. We are constantly monitoring her medical condition. Let us all pray for her and her loved ones during this critical time," he said.

"I feel deeply sad at the turn of event leading to clashes between protesters and police forces," he said adding that though the anger was justified, violence would serve no purpose.

Singh assured that the government would take all measures to ensure the security and safety of women.

"I appeal to all sections of the society to maintain peace and help us in our efforts," he said.

While the national capital erupted in anger and violence over the brutal gangrape of the Delhi girl, the victim´s father too has appealed for peace to everyone.

Speaking to some TV channels, the father of the girl, who is again put on ventilator at Safdarjung Hospital, said his daughter is a fighter and would survive the attack.

Doctors at Safdarjung Hospital, where she is being treated, said though the victim was conscious and responding to treatment, they were worried about the infection in her blood.

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