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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

Is rape the only news? K'taka CM snaps at media

PTI  Bangalore, July 22, 2014
First Published: 18:03 IST(22/7/2014) | Last Updated: 21:27 IST(22/7/2014)

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday courted a fresh controversy over the alleged rape of a six-year old girl in a Bangalore public school, as he asked the media if it did not have any other issue.

"Except that, don't you have any other issue?" Siddaramaiah snapped back at reporters who sought to know the latest on the case that has evoked public outrage and drawn criticism of his government for not acting swiftly.

The girl was allegedly raped on July 2 at a high-profile private school in Bangalore, while the complaint was lodged with the police on July 14.

Amid growing public anger against the police, the first arrest came on July 20 – of skating instructor Mustafa, who hails from Bihar.

Read: Skating instructor of school arrested in 6-year-old girl's rape

On Friday last, Siddaramaiah found himself in an embarrassing spot as video footage on TV channels showed him apparently dozing off during a debate on sexual offences against women in the assembly.

Siddaramaiah was seen in the video grab tilting his head in the front with eyes closed as the house was immersed in a debate with the opposition BJP going hammer and tongs against the government over a spate of recent sexual offences and gunning for the resignation of home minister KJ George.

The video shot was aired by TV channels but the chief minister had said he was not napping and was "very much attentive" listening to the debate.

Read: Crack the whip on campus sexual assault cases

Siddaramaiah's government has come under attack from the opposition parties over the school incident and alleged rape of a 22-year old woman in a car and of a 16-year old nun at a seminary in recent days.

Asked about invoking the Goonda Act in sexual offence cases, he said, "Wherever the Goonda Act is to be invoked, it will be invoked."

About BJP going on protest against government's "failure" to check the increasing incidents of rape in the state, Siddaramaiah said, "The main opposition party is politicising the issue."

Read: Protest over minor's rape continues, top cop transferred


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