Police file complaint against Goa Mahila Congress chief

first_imgA local women’s rights group on Monday filed a police complaint against Goa State Women Congress president Pratima Coutinho for allegedly revealing the identity of a 17-year-old victim of molestation by a construction site worker from Jharkhand in Netravali in South Goa recently. Ms. Tara Kerkar, founder of NGO Savera in her complaint filed at the women’s police station on Monday has stated that by revealing the name of the victim in the molestation case, Ms. Coutinho had slandered the minor’s reputation. “Pratima Coutinho is herself a lawyer, but for the second time she has revealed the name of a victim of sexual assault on social media. This damages the reputation of a minor girl and is also an offence by law,” After filing the complaint, Ms. Kerkar told press persons that the complaint has been filed under various sections of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act and Indian Penal Code. Confirming the filing of the complaint, a woman police officer here said, “We are verifying the contents of the complaint.” Ms. Coutinho, however, denied the charge and said she is being harassed for raising issues related to the safety of women in Goa and alleged that some senior police officers had been calling her since Monday morning and “threatening” her with a FIR.Ms. Coutinho, whose Facebook account can no longer be seen, said she has not mentioned the victim’s name in any post and that there was a campaign to harass her because of her aggressive stance on crimes against women. “The sexual assault happened at a resort being built by one of the most powerful politicians in Goa. The government and the police is therefore trying to harass me for raising my voice against sexual predators, and offences against women in Goa,” Ms. Coutinho said. The Mahila Congress president said she had visited the victim’s home after the sexual assault on the invitation of her parents last month, but denied that she had put the name of the victim in the public domain. On June 29 this year, the Sanguem police registered the case of a 17-year-old gir, who was allegedly molested by one Ramesh alias Gaddu Chohan, a native of Jharkhand at Netravali village in South Goa. The accused was arrested is at present in judicial custody, Sanguem police told The Hindu on Monday.Meanwhile, the BJP Mahila Morcha, Goa, president Sulakshana Sawant in a press release issued here on Monday condemned Ms. Coutinho and called her “publicity crazy”. She also demanded an immediate apology from her.last_img