December 15, 2021 4:43:02 pm
Goa Pradesh Congress president Girish Chodankar on Wednesday named state Urban Development and Social Welfare Minister Milind Naik as the minister involved in a “sex scandal”. Chodankar alleged that he had misused his office and sexually exploited a woman from Bihar.
On November 30, Chodankar had alleged that a minister was involved in a ‘sex scandal’ and said he would give the Pramod Sawant-led BJP government 15 days to act against the minister. At the end of the fortnight, Chodankar had said, if the government did not remove the minister from the Cabinet, he would be forced to name the minister.
On December 10, a woman had filed a complaint in Bihar accusing Congress leader Sankalp Amonkar and other party workers from South Goa of extortion, sexual harassment and criminal conspiracy.
According to the complaint filed in Bihar, the accused allegedly made a video and audio of her go viral on social media. She also accused them of extortion and sexual harassment and offences under the Information Technology Act. While a zero FIR was lodged on Friday, the case was transferred to the Goa Police on Tuesday.
South Goa Superintendent of Police Abhishek Dhania said, “We received the complaint last evening and the FIR has been registered at Mormugoa Police Station. It is a complaint of extortion, stalking, criminal conspiracy and sections of the Information Technology Act.” He said the investigation in the case would commence now.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Amonkar and other Congress leaders lodged a complaint against Naik at the women’s police station in Panaji and submitted what they claimed were cell phone records and other evidence of the minister allegedly sexually harassing the woman and forcing her to undergo an abortion.
“We have submitted all the evidence we had against Naik. The victim has turned hostile and she was forced to file the complaint against us. I am ready to cooperate with the police,” Amonkar told reporters.
Reacting to the Congress naming Naik in the case, Goa BJP president Sadanand Tanavade said: “If he (Chodankar) has named the minister, I will discuss this with the Chief Minister. Let the person who has suffered file a complaint. I will speak with the Chief Minister.”
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who was in UP, is set to return to Goa on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, speaking at the Congress House in Panaji, Chodankar said, “Whether it’s a crime or not is a different issue. But a minister is misusing his position and sexually exploiting a woman. Such a minister is a disgrace to Goa and all Goans. He should immediately be sacked and this government needs to show the people of Goa that ministers like Milind Naik who exploit women will not be spared.”
Chodankar said that the woman hails from Bihar and urged Bihar Chief Minsiter Nitish Kumar to give her the confidence to file a complaint against Naik.
“I urge Bihar CM Nitish Kumar… You talk of empowering women but a minister from Goa has exploited a daughter of Bihar. Will you stand by your daughter or the minister who has exploited her? CM of Bihar, please give her the strength so that she can come forward without any fear,” he said.
Sawant had earlier said that while politically motivated allegations were being made ahead of the Assembly elections, he would not hesitate to take action against anyone if the victim files a complaint.
“If anyone has proof or if anyone has faced any assault, they should file a complaint. If the person who has suffered files a complaint, I will 100 per cent take action. So far nobody has filed a complaint. If a woman files a complaint, we will carry out a thorough inquiry. Being the home minister, I am firm on this and I’ll sack anyone,” he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.