Indian PM appeals for calm, vows to protect women

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. AP

NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged calm and vowed to protect women as police on Monday struggled to quell increasing outrage over sex crimes following the gang-rape of a student.

“There is genuine and justified anger and anguish at this ghastly incident,” Singh said in a statement issued on Sunday as he appealed for “peace and calm” after demonstrations in the wake of the attack in New Delhi.

“I assure you that we will make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety to all women in this country.”

The police control room in New Delhi on Monday said more than 100 people, including 60 policemen were injured in street protests on Sunday, and all the routes leading to landmark government buildings have been cordoned off.

“No one will be allowed to march towards the parliament or the president’s palace,” said New Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat.

“We know people will face problem because of the road blocks, but we have to stop the angry protests.”

The 23-year-old physiotherapy student, who has been battling for her life since the late-night assault on a bus last Sunday, gave her first statement to police at the weekend in the hospital where she was being treated.

“All six men took turns to sexually assault me,” the Hindustan Times newspaper quoted the victim as saying to police.

“They threw us on the side of the road where I then fainted.”

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