Panaji: Aam Aadmi Party Vice President Pratima Coutinho on Tuesday has expressed shock over the rape of a four-year-old girl in North Goa and called for strict action to prevent such incidents.
While addressing the press conference at the party’s Panaji office Coutinho said, “Three such instances were reported in the media within a week. The number of rape cases in the state has increased, particularly against minors. The BJP government who is ruling in the state from the last ten years has failed to prevent such heinous crime. It has become very clear that this government’s approach to combating rising crime against women is woefully inadequate.”
Concerned about the rising number of rapes in the state, Coutinho has called for sex education to be made mandatory in all schools from the fifth grade.
Coutinho said, “The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) – 2020 report has revealed that more than 66% of rape survivors in Goa are minors. The data has also revealed that during the 2020 year, Goa recorded five rape cases on average per month. The rape rate in Goa stands at 7.8%, higher than the national average of 4.3%”.
Adding she said, “The pandemic forced schools to move online, and this has provided access to unwanted content. As a result, sex education is becoming increasingly important. Sex-education will equip children and young people with the knowledge that will empower them to realise their health, well-being and dignity; develop respectful social and sexual relationships”.
Last week the police arrested Constable Manjunath Koli for allegedly raping a minor girl for one year at a private hotel in North Goa. After inquiry it came to light that the constable was minor’s friend and they had intercourse several times at a private hotel.
It has been reported that Koli asked his wife to contact the minor girl’s family to convince them to go for an abortion. The wife took the girl to a private hospital in North Goa. A doctor prescribed some medicines and performed the abortion.
In another instance a four-year-old girl was raped. The mother has stated that when she had gone out on work , she had kept her daughter with a friend. On returning home, she was shocked to see her daughter was only wearing a t-shirt and diaper.
Coutinho stated that there is no fear instilled in the mind of criminals. It’s high time the BJP government should take tough measures against such criminals. As a result, a strong message will be sent. Aside from that, the government should organise counselling sessions for both victims and accused.