Under fire for his statement asking parents to introspect what minor girls were doing on a beach at night, during when they were raped, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that his comments were taken 'out of context.'
“Safety of children, especially the minor ones, has to be a shared responsibility. Our right to security has to be strengthened further with more cautiousness. Children, especially minors, need guidance from their elders,” Sawant said, in a statement late on Thursday, 29 July.
He added that as the head of the government and father of a 14-year-old daughter, he was "deeply pained and disturbed" by the incident.
"At no point, I've tried to deny the right to security provided by our law. Goa Police has been truly professional force especially when it comes to security of women & children. They have already acted swiftly and arrested the accused," the Goa chief minister said.
What Did Sawant Say Earlier?
During a debate in the House on Wednesday, 28 July, Goa Chief Minister 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.”
He further added, “We directly 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 and the remaining six went home.”
""They were on the beach the whole night, two boys and two girls. Teens, particularly minors, should not be spending the nights on beaches."" - Pramod Sawant, Goa Chief Minister
What Happened on Sunday?
A group of four girls and six boys, including two minor girls and a minor boy, visited Benaulim Beach at 11:30 pm on Saturday, 24 July. Due to poor weather conditions, some of them left early. Three boys and the two minor girls were left behind.
The incident took place around 3:30 am. The four accused approached the two minor girls – and later allegedly raped them. They then beat up the three boys. The group was then asked to go home, according to the Times of India.
The police have arrested the four accused – 21-year-old Asif Hateli, 33-year-old Rajesh Mane, 31-year-old Gajanand Chinchankar, and 19-year-old Nitin Yabbal. Of these, Rakesh Mane is believed to be a government servant.
The accused 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 and have been remanded in four days of police custody.
. Read more on Gender by The Quint.'Out of Context': Goa CM After Flak for Statement on Rape of Minor GirlsDay 7, Tokyo Olympics LIVE: Lovlina Assures India a Medal, Deepika Loses in QFs . Read more on Gender by The Quint.