Goa chief minister dodges comment on colleague’s stole remark


Panaji : Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat was left tongue-tied Monday when asked to comment on his home minister’s remarks that women should not wear ‘dupattas’ (stole) as a serial killer used the clothing to strangle his victims.

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Speaking to reporters, Kamat refused to comment on the statement made by Ravi Naik last week. “I cannot comment on the issue. You ask Ravi himself,” Kamat said.

Naik in his address to the media and police officials Thursday had appealed to Goan women not to wear a dupatta, after a serial killer arrested by the police had used the particular clothing accessory, to strangle most of his victims.

“Women today should not wear dupattas, because you have seen how this person uses it to kill his victims,” Naik was quoted as saying in the Friday edition of Sunaparant, Goa’s only Konkani language newspaper.

Naik was referring to 40-year-old Mahanand Naik, who police claim has allegedly killed 16 women over last 15 years.

Police officials say that during interrogation Mahanand revealed that he used the victims’ dupattas to strangle them in most cases, before robbing them.

Naik comments have left women’s groups in the state flabbergasted.

“It is a sorry state of affairs. Anyway crimes against women in Goa are never given a preference,” convenor of Bailancho Saad, a leading women’s organization in the state told IANS reacting to Naik’s comments.

Naik, who incidentally is also the state women and child development minister, last week also blamed foreigners for the rise in crimes against them.

“We have to stop tourists (foreigners) from drinking and travelling late in the night. Then the media blames the police if anything happens to them. How can the police follow and protect them (foreign tourists) when they are drunk during such late hours,” Naik said, shortly after the body of a 19-year-old Russian Elena Sukhonova was found on the railway tracks.