Goa BJP asks Congress MP to apologise for rape comment


Panaji: The Goa state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday demanded a public apology from the state’s lone Rajya Sabha member Shantaram Naik for his controversial comments on rape.

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Addressing a press conference, party spokesperson Govind Parvatkar said the Congress MP had defamed Goa’s credential as a safe state.

“He should publicly apologise for his statement,” Parvatkar said.

The spokesperson added that Naik’s statement implied that the state home department had failed in maintaining the law and order situation.

“It is the duty of the state police to ensure the safety of every individual in the state, foreigner or not,” he said.

“When men can go around freely and safely during odd hours and during the night, how can anyone discourage women from staying out at night? What the Rajya Sabha MP said was ridiculous,” Parvatkar said, adding that such statements would further affect the flow of foreign tourists into Goa.

Naik, a former president of the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), attracted the ire of women members in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday when he said that a rape case should be treated differently if the victim is known to be moving with strangers beyond the middle of the night.

Naik was speaking in reference to the rape of a 25-year-old Russian on Dec 2 allegedly by a local Goan politician, John Fernandes.

“An alleged rape of a lady who moves with strangers for days together, even beyond middle of the night, is to be treated on a different footing,” Naik said.

His remarks antagonised women members of the Rajya Sabha who sought the intervention of Deputy Speaker K. Rahman Khan. Naik should not be allowed to speak the language which was derogatory to women, they demanded.