Updated: July 31, 2021 10:37:48 am
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said that his earlier statement following the rape of two minors in Goa on July 25 – saying that parents should also take responsibility while sending their children out — was taken out of context.
“My statement about the unfortunate incident was taken out of context. Both as head of a responsible government and as father of a 14-year-old daughter, I was deeply pained and disturbed. The pain of this incident is inexplicable. At no point have I tried to deny the right to security provided by our law. Goa Police has been truly professional…. They acted swiftly and arrested the accused, and let me assure you that I shall ensure that the culprits get the most stringent punishment under the law,” Sawant said in a statement issued after 1.30 am Friday.
Addressing the Assembly, he later said, “What I said yesterday was not something I said as CM. I too have a 14-year-old daughter. I worry about every child in the state. And I said child, not girl. You can see it again. The government is capable of looking after everyone. But I said it as a parent that this is our responsibility too.”
He said it is also important to educate children. “Based on our culture, we need to inculcate different values in our children. We have to give them that sanskaar (values). If we inculcate these values, we can bring about a change in society… then there will be a change in various things like crime.”
He added, “I have said the responsibility is on both sides. We have not thrown our hands up. We are shouldering our responsibility. Goa is a safe destination even today…”
Goa Art and Culture Minister and independent MLA Govid Gaude backed Sawant’s statement. “Especially in cases of minors, parents should find out where children are going… Who suffers greater loss? The parents do,” he said.
Speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Gaude said, “If there has to be one (police) constable posted behind every girl, how many people will we need? Government is not running away from their responsibility. I am only saying parents are equally responsible.”
Around 30 protesters from the Congress, who staged a demonstration outside Sawant’s residence in Altinho, were detained by police.
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