Goa Cong demands since probe into Dy CM porn case

Goa Congress demands Police probe Dy CM porn controversy with same sincerity as Tejpal rape case

Goa CM Pramod Sawant(R) with Depty CM Kavlekar. Credit: PTI Photo

The Congress in Goa on Thursday, likened the controversy surrounding a porn video sent by Goa Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar's to a Whatsapp group, to the rape case involving former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, while questioning the lethargy of the Goa Police to probe the former.

The comparative was drawn by Goa Congress Mahila Morcha president Pratima Coutinho, who led a protest march to the Goa Police headquarters in Panaji on Thursday, demanding a probe into the porn message controversy.

"When it came to Tarun Tejpal, the Goa Police filed a First Information Report based on an email by Tejpal. Here in case of the deputy CM, there is not even a simple enquiry based into a porn message sent from Kavlekar's phone on a Whatsapp group. This is sheer hypocrisy," Coutinho said.

In 2013, Tejpal was accused of allegedly raping a colleague at a five-star resort in North Goa. He was subsequently charge-sheeted under sections 376 (rape), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement) 354A (sexual harassment) and 354B (criminal assault), of the Indian Penal Code. One of the early pieces of evidence, which the police used to launch an investigation was an email, reportedly sent by Tejpal, to the victim in which the journalist expressed remorse for the action.   

Several dozen women from the Congress party on Thursday had staged a dharna outside the Goa Police headquarters demanding police action in the issue.

Opposition parties in Goa have been demanding the sacking of Kavlekar from the Dy. CM's post after the controversy erupted, with the officials of the Congress, as well as Goa Forward, a regional party filing a complaint against Kavlekar, accusing the latter of allegedly outraging the modesty of women, by sending the porn video.

Kavlekar, however, has maintained that efforts were on to defame him and unknown persons had hacked his phone to send the porn message and that a complaint had already been filed with the Cyber Cell of the Goa Police.

Coutinho has maintained that police should also probe how a mobile phone of the state's deputy Chief Minister could be hacked in the dead of the night. "At least probe how a phone of such an influential person could be hacked? This is nothing but an attempt to hoodwink the people," Coutinho said.

The Goa Bharatiya Janata Party unit has however backed Kavlekar, a former Congress MLA, in the episode, with state party president Sadanand Shet Tanavade claiming that high-end technology could have been used to hack the deputy CM's phone and send across the porn message, in order to defame him.