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Press Trust Of India
Thiruvananthapuram, December 24, 2012
Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor on Monday said Indian society should stand united in its protest against the brutal rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi and there should not be any attempt to politicise the issue. "Though it is not right to characterise the entire protest as negative, some unruly elements had infiltrated into the protests, which the law and order authorities should take care of," Tharoor said addressing a meet-the-press programme in Thiruvananthapuram.

He said the government and protesters should have a common cause as what happened in Delhi was "horror". "We should take it as a wake-up call and create a cultural consciousness. We should teach our boys to respect women."  Tharoor said there had been widespread sympathy, outrage, shock and fear after the incident. The outrage and shock was understandable and the fear should be addressed. "Our womenfolk should be able to move around freely during night hours," he said.

The government system had worked as it could apprehend the culprits within a day. They should be tried through a fast track judicial process, he said.

Tharoor said though the anger of the youth was understandable, marching to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan was no solution to the issue. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and AICC General Secretary had talked to the protesters, which was the right approach.

The protesters should not be treated as trouble-makers, but as fellow citizens and deft political handling of the protests was needed, he said.