Karnataka Chief Minister miffed over media queries on rape

Bangalore, July 22 : Rattled by the non-stop media coverage of the spate of rapes in the city, a miffed Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Tuesday asked reporters if they had no news other than ‘rape’ to cover. ”What rape? Is it the only news you have to cover,” Siddaramaiah shot back when reporters asked him at the state secretariat for an update on the investigations into the alleged rape of a six-year-old student in an elite school, and that of a teenaged student in a seminary and a 22-year-old post-graduate student near her house.

Incensed with the relentless telecast by regional and national news channels of the developments on the rape cases and rising crimes against women, the chief minister said the state government was doing everything to ensure women’s safety and security. When told protests were mounting against the government over the failure of police in ensuring safety and security of women, Siddaramaiah said: “Investigations in the rape cases are going on. We will not spare anyone committing crimes against women.

“We are going to invoke the Goonda Act against all the accused in the rape cases. We have directed police to step-up patrolling and act swiftly on anyone indulging in such crimes,” he said. The chief minister was also upset over repeated telecast of visuals showing him “dozing off” in the legislative assembly when a discussion on rising crimes against women was underway last week.

“We are taking several measures to ensure safety of students by enforcing guidelines in all schools and colleges across the city and directing their managements to conduct background checks on teaching and non-teaching staff employed for security, transport and other activities,” Siddaraiamah said.