Bengaluru, Apr 16 Taking on Rahul Gandhi for his stand on Kathua rape case, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar today invited the Congress president for a debate on child safety and what Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has done to protect children in Karnataka.
"Next time Gandhi takes time off from his pre-election temple-run in Karnataka, I would invite him to a civilized debate on child safety in Karnataka and discuss what Siddaramaiah has really done to protect children in Karnataka," he said in a statement here.
Ever since February 2014, Chandrasekhar said he has been urging Siddaramaiah to act on child safety issues to put in place safety guidelines, regulations for schools and have more child courts.
He said he had also written to Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramaiah in August 2015, but neither he nor his government have done anything about safety of children and consequently more children became victims.
? The number of cases of sexual abuse has been going up over the past five years in Karnataka, he alleged.
While the number of cases registered in 2012-13 was 138, this year the number is over 10 times that, he claimed.
? "Statistics from the Karnataka State Integrated Child Protection Society (KSICPS) show that 1,420 cases were registered under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act," he said.
?Among the cases filed, more than 93 per cent of the cases were still pending trial, a result of lack of adequate child courts, he said.
At a recent state-level consultation on child trafficking with experts from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, evidence was presented about the sorry state of affairs in Karnataka on child trafficking and child prostitution, he said.
All this show that the Siddaramaiah government, despite overwhelming evidence of rise in crimes against children, has done very little, he alleged.
Chandrasekhar said Gandhi has belatedly woken up to issue of crimes against children and is trying to score political points from horror and cruelty inflicted on an innocent 8-year-old girl.
"Crimes against children are the most horrific and are not opportunities to score political points," he said.
Though justice for the eight-year-old girl is a must and is non-negotiable,no punishment would be too severe for the perpetrators?of such cruelty on any child.
Justice is pending also for child victims of crimes in Karnataka, Chandrasekhar said.