Unfazed by the controversy over his comments on the gangrape of two Delhi-based women in Goa, tourism minister Dilip Parulekar on Saturday maintained it was a “small incident” and that it occurs where tourism flourishes.
He took back his comments after an outrage on social media and the city on Saturday.
Congress party workers burnt Parulekar’s effigy in protest even as Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar asked the police department to initiate impartial inquiry into the gang rape incident reported on Monday night.
“I said what I said based on the report given to me by the police. I have said this in the past and I am saying this again that in places where tourism flourishes such small incidents occur,” Parulekar said.
Parulekar had on Thursday described the accused as “naive” and chose to dismiss the crime as a “stray” incident, triggering a controversy. “Such stray incidents are bound to take place in a busy tourist destination like Goa,” Parulekar had said.
“The boys are ‘nadaan’ (naive) and they have small crimes registered against them...this will not happen in future,” he said.
Parulekar on Saturday said no Goans are involved in the incident. “Neither the accused nor the victims are Goans. The boys were outsiders and the victims were from Delhi. We are still trying to ascertain facts and figures. It is unclear what their connection...Police is investigating and the accused are in 7-day custody. By tomorrow we will figure out what the facts of the case are,” he said.
Two women from Delhi who were gang raped in a Goa resort were working as escorts and were accidental victims of a revenge plot, a senior police official said on Saturday. The escorts were abducted by the group and later raped by four people while being held for ransom, the official said.
“The complaint of gang rape and assault has been confirmed and verified. The girls were escorts who had been hired by the main accused Ajay Kushwa from Manoj, who owed him around Rs 1.5 lakh,” Gaonkar said.
“Parulekar should be removed from the post for such insensitive comments. ,” Goa Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawathankar said.