Goa Arts and Culture Minister Govind Gaude on Friday said it was not possible for the government to post a constable to guard every girl in the state.
A day after Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was slammed by the Opposition for blaming parents for the rape of two minor girls on a beach, arts and culture minister Govind Gaude on Friday said it was not possible for the government to post a constable to guard every girl in the state.
The protection of minor children was a joint responsibility of parents and the government, said Govind Gaude.
“It is not that the government has raised it’s hands and is running away from its responsibility. But it is equally the responsibility of parents to know where their children are going and if the children have taken their permission to stay at somebody’s place or not,” Govind Gaude said.
“Who is suffering at the end, the parents suffer the most. How is it possible to appoint a security official or constable behind each and every girl,” Govind Gaude added.
Slamming Govind Gaude’s statement, Goa Forward Party vice-president Durgadas Kamat called it the “new ideology of BJP” and said the party was tarnishing the name of Goa in front of the whole world.
“It is very unfortunate and ridiculous the way the BJP government under the leadership of Goa CM Pramod Sawant is making such statements. This is the new ideology of BJP. They are tarnishing the name of Goa in front of the whole world. We owe an apology to the whole world for such statements. This never happened during Atal ji and Advani ji times. Our Goa is safe and we welcome all tourists,” Durgadas Kamat said.
On Wednesday, in a discussion during the Monsoon Session of the Assembly, Pramod Sawant said that parents should introspect why their children are allowed on beaches after dark.
“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 said on Wednesday.
These remarks were criticised widely, therefore, the Goa chief minister issued a clarification on Friday, saying his comment was taken out of context.
“At no point, I have tried to deny the right to the security provided by our law. Goa Police has been a truly professional force, especially when it comes to the security of women and children. They have already acted swiftly and arrested the accused,” Pramod Sawant said.
“Let me assure you that I shall ensure that the culprits get the most stringent punishment under the law. The safety of our citizens is always top priority,” Sawant added.
On the night of July 24, two minor girls were raped at Benaulim beach. Four people, including a government servant (a driver with the agriculture department), have been arrested in connection with the crime.