Panaji, June 6: Unfazed by the controversy over his comments on the gangrape of two Delhi-based women in Goa, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar today maintained it was a "small incident" and that it occurs where tourism flourishes.
Congress party workers burnt the effigy of Parulekar in protest against his statement even as Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar asked the police department to initiate impartial inquiry into the gangrape incident that was 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 today 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.
Parulekar had on Thursday described the accused as "naive"
Parsekar said he did not want to get into the statements of his ministerial colleage but as far as the Home department is concerned the police are doing proper investigations.
"I have asked the police to conduct impartial inquiry into the incident. Police are on their job and investigations are on right track," the Chief Minister told PTI.
Two Delhi-based girls who were holidaying in Goa were allegedly gangraped by five men who posed as anti-narcotic cell policemen. Police are also on the look out for a woman accomplice of these five accused who was at the scene when the incident happened.
"Parulekar should be removed from the post of minister for such insensitive comments. How can tourists trust Goa when it has such a minister," Goa congress spokesman Sunil Kawathankar said.
He said the party strongly condemns the attitude of the minister. "The law and order situation in the state has gone to the lowest level posing threat to common man on the street," he added.
"It looks like the Tourism Minister has lost his mental balance," said another Congress leader Durgadas Kamat.