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No Show on Vasco Rape, GPYC President again talks of taking to Goa Streets

Goa Pradesh Youth Congress (GPYC) Pratima Coutinho has yet again warned the BJP-led government that she and her Youth Brigade would take to the streets of Goa if the Parrikar government does not address the concern of the Youth of Goa who have been agitating on account of the issues faced while travelling by local bus transport. Interestingly, last month Coutinho had issued a similar threat on the rape of the seven-year old girl at Vasco, but, neither she nor the Congress Youth were seen either on the streets or physically offering support to getting justice to the young tormented rape survivor.

Now however, alleging harassment of students and molestation of girls in private buses, the Goa Pradesh Youth Congress demanded that the government allot special buses for students and women on various routes in the state.

Pratima Coutinho urged the government to also place RTO officials at important boarding and disembarking bus points to curb misbehavior by private operators.

Coutinho said GPYC strongly supported the student community in the wake of the latter’s three-day agitation across the state. The agitation started in Ponda on Monday, saw traffic disruption for a while in Margao on Tuesday, and on Wednesday over 20 students were detained and later released by Panaji police for disrupting operations at KTC bus stand.

“All the students wanted were for the government to hear their grievances. They wanted the director of transport to give them an assurance that their grievances will be looked into. Instead they were detained by the police,” Coutinho said.

She warned that GPYC will not shy from taking to the streets alongside the student community if the government does not heed their cry for help.

While Coutinho claimed, “Students are being harassed and insulted by private bus operators because of the 50 per cent fare, which is their right. Girl students are molested by perverts in overcrowded buses and if they complain they are insulted and even asked to get off the bus. The government should give a thought to this and cancel such bus permits.” It is not known whether Coutinho has raised the issue of molestation of girls in the local buses with the police official or registered a single complaint.
She appealed to the government to arrange special buses for students and women at appropriate times on various routes.

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