PANAJI: Opposition MLA and former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai, on Thursday, demanded an apology from Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for blaming the parents of two minor girls, who were raped on a Goa beach on July 24.
“CM owes an apology to the parents of the minor girls. Such an irresponsible statement,… is a very insensitive statement by the CM, when actually he should be comforting the parents, giving them solace and courage by his timely action and by actions to prevent further such instances,” Sardesai told reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing state legislative assembly session.
“The statement of the chief Minister that it is the responsibility of parents of minors to ensure the safety of their children when they go out at night is a condemnable statement.
“It is victim blaming which is shifting the responsibility of law and order and security of the state from the government and the home department that he heads, to the parents of the children,” Sardesai said.
On Wednesday, Sawant in a discussion during the monsoon assembly session had said that parents should introspect why their minor wards are allowed to spend time on beaches after dark.
“Ten children went for a party on the beach. Out of the 10, six returned home. The remaining four, including two boys and two girls, stayed on the beach the whole night. When a 14-year old girl spends the night on the beach, the parents too have to introspect, they too should be taking care,” Sawant had said.
On the night of July 24, two minor girls were raped at the Colva beach in South Goa. Four persons, including a government servant, have been arrested in connection with the crime.
Sardesai claims that instead of blaming parents for allowing their children to step out at night, Sawant should make ‘Brand Goa’ about providing security to residents and visitors irrespective of age and the time of the day.
“‘Brand Goa’ is about giving security to citizens of whichever age and whichever time. Up to now people who come to the state know it as a peace loving state. We invite tourists from all over the world. They come to Goa, they dress up in bikinis, they enjoy and nobody has ever bothered them,” Sardesai said.