Rape case against minister’s son causes fissure in Goa government

October 16th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyPanaji, Oct 16 (IANS) Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik Thursday denied state Education Minister Atanasio Monseratte’s accusations that he was using the rape case against Monseratte’s son to target the father. However, the tussle between the two has led to a crisis for the state government.”The police have been given a free hand and there is no interference from my side in their functioning,” Naik told reporters.

“The law applies to everyone and will take its own course. There is no need to be worried. A complaint has been filed and it must be looked into,” he added.

Monseratte’s son Rohit, 21, has been charged with raping a 14-year-old German girl. He has been eluding the police ever since.

On Wednesday, Monseratte had told reporters: “The home minister is orchestrating the police, who are after us.”

Monseratte said Chief Minister Digamber Kamat should take note of the developments. “Today it is me. Tomorrow it could be some other MLA (legislator),” he warned.

He also charged Naik, whose son Roy has been linked to the murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling, of double standards.

The clash of Naik and Monseratte, a United Goans Democratic Party (UGDP) legislator who is supporting the Congress-led ruling coalition, has precipitated a crisis in the Goa government. Naik is from the Congress party.

A group of legislators and ministers is planning to send a memorandum to the Congress heads in New Delhi, seeking a change in state leadership.

“We are not satisfied with the leadership of Digamber Kamat,” a legislator told IANS on condition of anonymity.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) Goa in-charge B.K. Hariprasad said Rajya Sabha MP Rajiv Shukla had been asked by the party high command to go to Goa and defuse the situation.

“Shukla will be in Goa as there are some disturbances between an alliance partner and the police,” Hariprasad told IANS.

The group of legislators, including Churchill Alemao, Aleixo Reginald, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Babu Azgaonkar, Agenlo Fernandes and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member Jose Philip Dsouza, met Wednesday night at Monserratte’s home and decided to demand Kamat’s ouster.

However, Kamat expressed nonchalance at the political developments and claimed readiness to step down.

“There will be ramifications when such incidents occur,” he said when asked to comment on the political fallout of the complaint against his cabinet colleague’s son.

In the 39-member assembly, the Congress has 17 legislators, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 14, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) three, UGDP one, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party two and there are two independents.

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