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In a new dimension to the Vasco school rape case, five prominent citizens have demanded that the case should also be registered under the provisions of the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
In a representation to the Mormugao Police Inspector, the five signatories ~ Auda Viegas, Adv Albertina Almeida, Adv Micheal Fernandes, Adv Joao Fernandes and social activist Cyril Fernandes have stated that their investigation had revealed that the victim belonged to the ST community wherein the provisions  of SC/ST (POA) Act have not been applied in the case so far. The signatories have also enclosed a ST certificate in support of their claim, states the letter.
The signatories have warned that they would be constrained to take up the issue with the higher authorities if the police fail to take the action with immediate effect.
When asked as to what difference it would make to the victim under the Act, Adv Micheal Fernandes, who is the spokesperson of the team, said under the SC/ST Act the modus operandi of inquiries are better than that of the other Acts.
“Further, the investigating agencies are more accountable and also the punishment is more severe under the SC/ST (POA) Act,” he said.
“We want the government to look into the matter more seriously and book the real culprit. Though the complaint is filed by the five-member core committee, the outcome will be placed before the general committee to take necessary action if police fails to register the compliant,” stated Adv Fernandes.
Complaint copies have been submitted to the Mormugao police inspector, Crime Branch and CID. [H]