‘Congress leader scuttled investigations into German girl’s rape’

November 3rd, 2008 - 4:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Nov 3 (IANS) All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary B. Hariprasad scuttled police investigations into the rape of the 14-year-old German girl in which kin of three Goa ministers are the suspects, counsel for the victim Aires Rodrigues said Monday.Addressing a press conference here, Rodrigues said that the police investigations were satisfactory until Hariprasad landed in Goa to look into demands of leadership change lobbied for by cabinet ministers Churchill Alemao and Atanasio Monserrate whose kin have been named as suspects in the rape case.

“Hariprasad’s dinner diplomacy that night changed the course of the investigation,” Rodrigues told the media, adding that there was immense political pressure on the police to kill the case.

While the main accused in the case Rohit is Education Minister Monserrate’s son, the other accused Warren is the nephew of Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao and Urban Development Minister Joaquim Alemao.

Rodrigues said that the police were needlessly delaying the investigation even after the victim had deposed before a judicial magistrate and a medical examination had confirmed rape.

“The police could have collected a copy of the girl’s statement Saturday itself. But the officer present in court left sometime before the deposition process could be completed,” the advocate alleged.

Rodrigues has also expressed shock at the statement issued by a senior police official that the police had already extracted a statement for Rohit Monserrate, who has been ‘missing’ since the day the offence was booked.

“On the one hand the police say that a ‘lookout notice’ was issued in Rohit’s name and now they claim that they have taken Rohit’s statement. He is an accused in a rape case. The police are giving him preferential treatment because he is the son of a minister,” Rodrigues alleged.

“If this is the way the police are going to behave, we will be compelled to place this factual position before the Bombay High Court bench in Panaji during the hearing Tuesday,” Rodrigues said.

He also alleged that police were now trying to target a head constable at the Calangute police station for non-registration of the original rape complaint for 12 days.

“They are making a scapegoat of the head constable for delaying the registration. A rape complaint involving a minor is always brought to the notice of senior officers at the police station,” Rodrigues said.

The Bombay High Court had taken suo moto cognizance of the complaint. The police have been asked to update the court with the investigations conducted by them from the time the complaint was registered.

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