Panaji: A day after a seven-year-old girl was raped in a school toilet, the Goa government on Tuesday told all schools to step up security near their premises.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Women and Child Development Minister Dilip Parulekar said a circular to the effect had been issued to all schools in the state.
"We have asked all school managements to review the security measures for their premises. All security guards have been asked to keep an eye for strangers in the campus. We will not allow anyone to loiter in school premises without reason henceforth," Mr Parulekar said.
The Goa Police crime branch has already been directed to investigate the rape of the girl in school premises in the port town of Vasco, around 40 km from Panaji.
While the rapist is still at large, police have arrested the school's headmistress for inordinately delaying the registration of a first information report in the incident.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar along with top administration and police officials had to rush to the school on Monday night after irate residents and friends of the victim's parents laid siege to the school not allowing the staff to step out.
The girl was found in a state of shock in the school toilet, after being raped by an unidentified person who had slipped into the school. The accused is at large, said police.
Incidentally, the education ministry, headed by the chief minister, has ordered the school shut for two days in view of the public ire.
Thousands protest in Goa after girl raped in school toilet
At a time when the entire nation is outraged over the brutal gang rape of a medical student in Delhi and her subsequent death, a seven-year-old girl's sexual assault in a reputed school in south Goa has simmered public anger.
The incident took place on Monday morning when an unidentified person dragged the girl inside the school toilet and allegedly raped her. She raised an alarm but the man, in his 40s, managed to give school authorities the slip.
The school staff remained tight-lipped on the incident, The school authorities had failed to take action against the same man, who was earlier caught by a school security guard for moving around the compound. According to Vasco police, when the man was produced before the headmistress, she asked him to leave the premises.
Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who visited the school on Monday night. Hundreds of parents and protesters had come together at the school demanding action. The protesters held the school management and headmistress responsible for the incident.
"After asking the man to leave the premises, the headmistress should have locked all the gates to prevent him from entering the venue again. There are no CCTV cameras installed, which could have helped to identify the culprit," Parrikar said as he tried to calm people down.
The case was immediately handed over to the Crime Branch after the angry mob alleged that Vasco police delayed taking action.On Moday evening, the girl was medically examined at the government-run Goa Medical College but the report has been kept under wraps.
Parrikar, when questioned, said the report was "positive".
The crime branch officials have launched a massive search operation to trace the man with Parrikar taking stock of the investigation progress regularly.
The increasing crime against women has become a matter of concern in the state.
In the last calendar year, 54 cases of rape were reported, out of a total of 220 crimes against women including molestation, eve teasing, trafficking and dowry deaths.
The preceding year had about 128 cases against women including rape.
Goa Crime Branch to probe seven-year-old's rape
The Crime Branch has been directed to probe the rape of a seven-year-old girl in the school premises in Vasco, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said Tuesday.
While the rapist is still at large, Crime Branch officials have arrested the headmistress of the school for inordinately delaying the registration of a first information report (FIR).
"The Crime Branch will probe the complaint of rape and negligence by the headmistress separately," the chief minister said.
The chief minister, along with top administration and police officials, had to rush to the school Monday night after irate residents and friends of the victim's parents laid siege and did not allow the staff to step out.
According to the police, the girl was found Monday in a state of shock in the school toilet, after being raped by an unknown person who had slipped into the school premises in Vasco, 40 km from here.
The education ministry, which is headed by Parrikar, has ordered the school shut for two days in view of public ire.
Congress for fast track courts in Goa to try rapists
Congress on Tuesday demanded setting up of fast-track courts in Goa to deal with rape cases in the state.
The demand stems from the rape of a seven-year-old girl in her school toilet yesterday.
Congress leader Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco told reporters that fast track courts should be established to try rape cases, so that the accused is punished without delay.
"Government should provide all infrastructure on an urgent basis to set up such courts," he said.
Lourenco demanded that all schools in Goa should be equipped with CCTV cameras and security around them should be increased.
"We demand that government should immediately initiate steps to provide security to girl children. Installation of cameras in schools should be made mandatory," he said.