Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant asked parents to be more “responsible” and not allow their children to remain out till late in the night while speaking on a gangrape incident of two minor girls on a beach. The remarks of Sawant, who also holds the home portfolio, have drawn severe criticism and the chief minister has been reminded of the government’s duty to ensure the state’s law and order.
“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, during a debate on a calling attention notice in the House. The chief minister said parents have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their wards and hinted that they should not let children, particularly minors, out at night.
Soon after, the Goa Congress hit back saying the law and order in the coastal state has deteriorated over the years. “Why should we fear while moving around at night? Criminals should be in jail and law abiding citizens should be out freely moving around,” Congress leader Altone D’Costa said.
Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party, a former ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), called the CM’s statements disgusting. “The safety of citizens is the responsibility of the state government and police. If they cannot provide the same to us, the CM has no right to sit in the post,” he said.
Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte said Goa has had a history of being a safe state for women, but that status is being lost under the current dispensation. “It is shocking that @goacm is blaming parents for allowing their children to venture out in the night claiming that it is not safe. If the State govt can’t assure us our security, who can give it? Goa has a history of being a safe state for women, that tag is being lost in @BJP4Goa rule,” Khaunte wrote on Twitter.