MARGAO: A spate of serious offences against minors in last one-and-a-half months in Salcete taluka has triggered alarm bells among parents, fearing for safety of their children.
Six cases of kidnapping or assaulting, including sexual assault, of minors in the last one-and-a-half months have been registered against adults. What is particularly alarming is the fact that in two cases, the accused were teachers, including one who outraged the modesty of his minor student by touching her inappropriately.
Though the police nabbed the accused, what is alarming is the increase in the cases and that in most cases the perpetrator was known to the victim and family members.
A senior police officer opined that there are more such cases, but they are not registered with the police because either the parents do not want to do so because they know the culprit or because the victim does not want to reveal the ordeal she has gone through.
Margao Police have registered a case against 37-year-old Alex Fernandes from Dramapur for raping a minor girl aged 16 years. This case is being investigated by PSI Kavita Rawat of Cuncolim Police Station.
Cuncolim Police have arrested 30-year-old Santosh Sutar at Candolim on charges of kidnapping a minor girl from Salcete and raping her.
The minor girl was rescued from his custody when Sutar was arrested. He has since been remanded to judicial custody at Colvale jail.
In yet another case, 21-year-old Vikram Kumar, native of Bihar was arrested in Delhi after he kidnapped a minor girl, who was a student and left Goa with her. He eluded the police for four-and-a-half months.
In another shocking incident, Maina-Curtorim police registered a case against a 50-year-old man for allegedly raping his five-year-old step daughter following a complaint lodged by the child’s mother and his wife.
Apparently he committed the crime on October 29 at the Hubbali railway station when the family had gone to drop their differently abled son who is studying in a boarding school there.
The man is reportedly missing since then and after being registered as a Zero FIR the matter has since been transferred to Hubbali police.
Besides, there is the more recent case where five youngsters including four aged below 20 were arrested for kidnapping four girls of which three were minors.
While three of the arrested youngsters including namely Demetrius Fernandes and Movin Coutinho both aged 18 years along with 21-year-old Azim Nadim Ahmad are also charged with raping three of the girls they had kidnapped.
The other two, Caimix Coutinho and Novel Fernandes both aged 19 years have been charged with only kidnapping.
It may be recalled that all were found in the jungles of Nuvem when the Maina-Curtorim launched search operations after one of the kidnapped girl’s father lodged a complaint.
A young girl studying in a school at Fatorpa was inappropriately touched by her Physical Education teacher, who also showed her pornographic videos on his mobile.
The teacher Ramesh Gaonkar aged 45 years, was arrested after the headmistress of the school lodged a complaint with the police.
In the other case involving a teacher, a student was assaulted with a mop by a teacher on October 2 which is the birthday of Apostle of Peace Mahatma Gandhi.
The boy was so severely beaten that he was rushed to South Goa District Hospital by the Canacona Health Centre and underwent treatment at the hospital for a couple of days.
The teacher who assaulted the student, Prasad Pagi has since been suspended by the management of the school namely Shree Balram Residential High School at Amone, Poinguinim.