Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said that he is seeking a report from the police on a daily basis as regards the investigation into the disappearance of the victim girl in the alleged rape case linked to Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate, and further expressed hope about “the truth coming out soon”.
“As per the suggestion of the judicial child welfare committee, such victims are to be placed in rehabilitation centre,” the Chief Minister added, pointing out that accordingly the girl was sent to a rehabilitation centre.
“And now that this girl is missing, we have to find out whether she is absconding or has been kidnapped,” he stated, maintaining that he himself has no idea about her whereabouts and the police inquiry is still in progress.
Sawant, who also holds the Home portfolio, addressing a press conference at the Bharatiya Janata Party city headquarters, said that people will not have to wait for long to know the truth. “An in-detail inquiry is presently on with all aspects probed, including councillors working at the rehabilitation centre and the people at the college where the girl was working,” he informed, noting that he is confident about the facts coming out in few days’ time.
Speaking further, the Chief Minister said that today he has received a representation from the state unit of the BJP as regards shutting down the offshore casinos anchored in River Mandovi. “I have not gone through the proposal,” he mentioned, adding that he would be able to comment on the same only after reading it.
State BJP president Vinay Tendulkar said that he has forwarded to the Chief Minister’s Office most of the communication received by him from public as regards demand to close the offshore casinos.
The Chief Minister also informed that the state government has decided to grant permission to approximately 18 valid mining leases to start mining operations; these 18 mining leases not coming under the ambit of the February 7, 2018, Supreme Court order and valid up to 2020.
“However, Environment Clearances and other clearances would be needed for these 18 leases from the central government, which are still pending,” he observed.
Sawant also said that the 88 mining leases, which were quashed by the Supreme Court, is now the apex court matter, and the related course of action would depend on the guidelines of the Supreme Court. He further said that various dumps of low-grade iron ore lying across Goa are owned by the government.
Replying to a question as regards the recent statement of Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai about weaponising Goa Forward Party’s youth, if the BJP-led coalition government did not reverse dilution of domicile norms for recruitment in state government as well as state-funded autonomous bodies like the Goa University, the Chief Minister said, “I would take up related discussion with Sardesai whenever I would meet him.”
Meanwhile, raising concern over the missing victim girl in the alleged rape case involving Babush, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has demanded security for the other witnesses in the case.
Andrea Pereira of the NGO has demanded a thorough inquiry into the incident wherein the victim girl went missing. “Police should call for inquiry of everyone who is connected with the case including the accused,” she said adding that “a proper inquiry needs to be conducted and the victim should be traced.” She said, “Apart from this, the question arises of witnesses in this case. They should also be given security.”