Breaking his silence over the unprecedented outpour of protests and anguish over the horrendous gang-rape of a 23-year old woman in the national capital, the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh sought to reach out to all concerned with an assurance that the government would make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety to all women in this country.

Dr. Singh’s assurance and appeal to people to maintain peace and calm came as an outraged nation continued its agitation, fuelled by the beastly gang-rape of the women on December 16 night, demanding decisive steps to put an end to the culture of impunity towards violence directed against women.

Political and apolitical quarters have been critical of the nonchalant attitude of the Prime Minister’s Office to the people who have taken to streets to vent their sentiments. The opposition has been vociferous in its demand that Dr. Singh come out in public to speak his mind on the subject and be seen as engaging those who have hit the Lutyen’s Delhi.

The following is the text of Dr. Singh’s appeal. "We are all joined in our concern for the young woman who was the victim of a heinous crime In Delhi. There is genuine and justified anger and anguish at this ghastly incident. We are constantly monitoring her medical condition.

“Let us all pray for her and her loved ones during this critical time. I feel deeply sad at the turn of events leading to clashes between protesters and police forces. I appeal to all concerned citizens to maintain peace and calm. I assure you that we will make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety to all women in this country. I seek the cooperation of all sections of the society to help us in this endeavour and maintain peace."

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