: The Opposition in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday grilled the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for the failure of the police to crack the case of the rape of a seven-year-old schoolgirl in Vasco in south Goa for over two and a half months now.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar defended the investigation, claiming that even the Children’s Court had expressed satisfaction with the probe.

On January 14 a seven-year-old girl was raped inside a school’s toilet in Vasco. The police had formed a special investigation team to probe the case but the accused is still at large.

Congress legislator Reginaldo Lourenco said the victim’s family had been undergoing such trauma that even the victim’s elder sister had stopped going to school. Mr. Parrikar told the House that the State government had made all possible efforts to help the victim’s family, including counselling the victim and appointing a special officer to coordinate with the family.

He appealed to members of the Opposition to give him any information or suggestions they might have with regard to the case in writing, instead of asking questions over the investigation in the House.

Vijay Sardesai, Independent MLA, and the Chief Minister had a verbal duel after Mr. Parrikar accused the Opposition of trying to politicise the case. Mr. Sardesai refuted the allegation and stated that they were asking questions because they were serious about it. Pointing to the lack of a breakthrough in the case, despite two and a half months having passed, Mr. Sardesai reminded the Chief Minister that “justice delayed is akin to justice denied”.

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