GoaChronicle.com in an exclusive brings to you a Letter of the Father of the Vasco rape survivor to the people of Goa…
I address this letter to the people of Goa – my people and also all the concerned people in authority who can give my family justice, if they find it in their heart too.
We lived a normal life of a simple family, like any father I had dreams for my two daughters and would often encourage them to face life with courage and conviction. The incident of January 14th, devastated us. For the first time in my life, I felt like a failure, since I could not keep my child safe and secure from the evils of this world. I never thought that I would have had to be concerned atleast in school, I expected the school where we sent her to learn, to take-over from where we parents leave, in keeping them safe and secure. But that was my biggest folly. I trusted the school to do it job. In fact, if it was up to the school this incident would have to not come to light and buried to protect the interest of the school.
Even today I can see that every attempt is being made to ensure that the school is protected, including its head-mistress and teachers. So much is the pressure mounted that an incident that happens in a crowded school has not been solved and its nearly completing three months. Some parents expect me to go slow on the responsibility of the school and the head-mistress, but, how can I and how blind can they (the people) be, do they not see that in the end it is school that has failed me and us, which is why the rapist can enter the school four times. Today the incident, involves my daughter, tomorrow it could be yours, since the rapist is still at large.
I am told that the government is going slow on the case, because I took the issue to court through an RTI Activist who has been exposing the failures of this government. But what option did I or my family have in our predicament. Twice I had visited the CM and at both times he had assured me that he would bring the investigating police team to give me a detailed report in his presence, but after both meetings, he did not arrange such a meeting with the Crime Branch investigating team. The CM had even told me that he would come and visit my family. On the appointed day, that he had said he would visit my home, he comes to Dabolim and Vasco, but never visits us. From that point of time, I knew that the CM is not interested in the justice or welfare of my family. Therefore, I decided that I would reach out to all concerned NGOs and RTI activists to assist me in getting justice for my child. If the CM was interested, then the police would have solved this case by now. But it appears to me, that the police are more akin to safe-guarding the head-mistress and some of her relatives who should be interrogated. My daughter has even identified her son and her nephew, in a video, which was presented in the Children’s Court. Even with the Court Order, the Crime Branch appears to be dragging their feet on this case.
I cannot let go of this incident, until the rapist is caught and brought to justice. I am a father, I owe it to my daughters.
Some people have been spreading rumors that the family wants more money to keep quiet on this case and because of that, I, the father has been making noise. I refused the MPT representative who had come with a demand draft of Rs 5lacs to my house, I did it because I will not be able to face my daughter, she would feel that her father sold her for that amount. I am not interested in money, we have lived a simple life and we will continue to live a simple life. No amount of money can change the fact that a crime has been committed on my daughter and this rapist is still at large. Can you imagine the fear, we live in everyday and as long as this person is free, we will continue to live in fear.
I have no faith in the CM or his government. He has lied in the Assembly about the counselors being sent for my family, lied about taking interest in the case, because if he had there would have been some results. But I have faith in the people of Goa. You see, my family will have to live with this pain for the rest of our life and it is a horrific incident, I hope no other family has to go through. The lack of empathy from the government and the police makes this incident even more depressing for us. We live with the only hope that we have some of the people of Goa supporting us in this struggle for justice.
I don’t know how to explain what I feel. I know everyone knows who the rapist is and who are supporting this criminal. I feel deeply disturbed today, that my family in the eyes of this society of ours, means nothing to so many fellow Goans. A horrific incident happens in Delhi, India awakes. But when it happens in Goa, we just keep quiet. Today, the government is not acting in fighting for justice for my family because maybe we are not so important in the strata of society.
Some allege it is because I am from the SC/ST community and a minority, that’s why the CM is not interested. But I know these people are just fueling fire and adding salts to our wounds. The fact is that the rapist and the people protecting him appear to have strong political connections and therefore justice is being denied to my family.
I appeal to the people of Goa, my fight is a fight for our daughters. So that no one ever, even attempts to act like that with our children. Some of my friends have started an association People Against Atrocities and Injustice (PAAI) and they will now take our fight forward to the people in Goa and India.