A day after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar announced the decision of the government to hand over the probe into the minor school girl’s rape case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), People Against Atrocity and Injustice (PAAI), a group of citizens working to seek justice for the rape victim has expressed the hope that handing over the case to the CBI would help nab the culprit as the police investigation, under political pressure, had failed to nab the culprits for over four-and-a-half months.

Cyril Fernandes, convener of PAAI, said the police were investigating the case under political influence due to which the investigation left much to be desired.

Guru Shirodkar, a tribal leader and member of PAAI, pointed out that despite the fact that the seven-year-old victim girl belonged to the Scheduled Tribes, the case had not been registered under Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in spite of pleas made in this regard.

“The stringent Act meant to give protection and justice to SCs/STs makes even the Chief Minister accountable for inaction, due to which it is not being brought under the provisions of this Act,” said Mr. Shirodkar.

Activist lawyer Aires Rodrigues on Thursday alleged that the belated statement by the Chief Minister that the Vasco rape case would be handed over to the CBI was mere eyewash.Mr. Rodrigues, who had represented the father of the victim in a public interest litigation in the Goa Children’s Court, accused Mr. Parrikar of trying to wash his hands of the police investigation, alleging that the investigation was “politically botched up”.He expressed doubts whether the CBI would even accept the case for investigation at such a late stage.