Panaji: On the topic of the gang rape of two minor girls on a beach, Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant said in the state assembly that parents need to introspect on why their children were on the beach late at night.
“When 14-year-olds stay on the beach the whole night, parents need to introspect. Just because children don’t listen, we cannot put the responsibility on the government and police,” Sawant had said on Wednesday, July 28, during a debate on a calling attention notice in the House.
Sawant also holds the home portfolio.
“We blame the police…but I want to point out that of the 10 youth who went to the beach for a party, four stayed on the beach the whole night…two boys and two girls. Teens, particularly minors, should not be spending the nights on beaches,” he said, according to NDTV.
Four men, one of them a government employee (a driver with the agriculture department), posed as policemen and raped the two girls after beating up the boys who were with the girls on Benaulim beach, around 30 km south of Goa’s capital, on Sunday, July 25.
All the four accused have been arrested, Sawant told the assembly.
The remark was met with outrage.
Goa Congress spokesperson Altone D’Costa on Thursday said the law and order situation in the coastal state has deteriorated. Why should we fear while moving around at night? Criminals should be in jail and law abiding citizens should be out freely moving around, he said.
Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai said it is disgusting that the chief minister is making such statements. The safety of citizens is the responsibility of police and state government. If they can’t provide it to us, the CM has no right to sit in the post, he added.
And CM should quit & go home for such preposterous ‘pearls of wisdom’ ! pic.twitter.com/HV0uTNBbV0
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) July 29, 2021
It is shocking that @goacm is blaming parents for allowing their children to venture out in the night claiming that it is not safe. If state govt can’t assure us our security, who can give it?Goa has a history of being safe state for women, that tag is being lost in @BJP4Goa rule
— Rohan Khaunte (@RohanKhaunte) July 28, 2021
During the discussion in the House yesterday, an MLA had claimed that an influential person was trying to protect the accused, while another opposition member had alleged that a minister was calling the police and trying to influence the investigation. Speaker Rajesh Patnekar had expunged the remarks from the proceedings.
(With PTI inputs)