Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s recent comment on gangrape of two minor girls on Benaulim beach has sparked a heated row. Under pressure from the Opposition over the gang rape and an attack on two minor boys last week, CM Pramod Sawant, two days after the incident, asked parents to introspect on why their children were on the beach late at night.
During a debate on a calling attention notice in the House, Sawant said, “When 14-year-olds stay on the beach the whole night, the parents need to introspect. Just because children don’t listen, we cannot put the responsibility on the government and police.”
Sawant, who also holds the home portfolio, later said that parents should also take responsibility to ensure the safety of their children and hinted that they should not let their children, particularly minors, out at night. He also informed that four people were immediately arrested and among them, one was a govt servant who has been suspended.
His remarks has gotten him into hot water. The Chief Minister has been heavily criticised for blaming the survivors and their parents.
Reacting to his comments, Goa Forward Party’s Vijai Sardesai slammed Sawant for trying to shift the blame on children and their parents. Sardesai said that if the police and the state government can not provide safety of citizens, then the CM has no right to sit in the post.
The incident occurred on Benaulim beach, when four men posing as policemen allegedly raped two minor girls on Sunday, 25 July. The police have arrested the four accused who had also threatened to upload photos of the incident on social media platforms if they weren’t paid Rs 65,000, reported national daily Times of India.
The four men, one a government employee, have been booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and the Goa Children’s Act.