Dead Russian’s friends say she didn’t mention Mumbai trip planMay 18th, 2009 - 11:28 am ICT by IANS
Panaji, May 18 (IANS) Five friends of Elena Sukhonova who were with the Russian teenager till a few hours before her death have told the police that she had made no mention of travelling to Mumbai.
The Russian tourists - George Zaslavskty, Natalia Shirstneva, Evegeny Krekhtunou, Andrey Doris and Igor Kovalchuk - said in their statements to the police, copies of which are with IANS, that they were with Elena till the early hours of May 8.
On the same day, the 19-year-old girl’s mutilated body was found along a railway track nearly 30 km from here.
The statements given by the five Russians last week have put a further question mark on the police theory that Elena died due to an accidental fall near Thivim railway station from a train going to Mumbai.
The five had travelled to Goa from Moscow May 3 by the same charter flight that was supposed to take Elena back to Russia. She had skipped the charter ride back home after deciding to stay on in Goa for a few more days. She had arrived here on a chartered flight April 19.
Zaslavskty told the police that the group including Elena dined at the popular Britto’s restaurant in Baga and then partied at Mambo’s disco in Calangute. They parted ways at 3 a.m. at Calangute beach.
“Elena said she wanted to stay there (for a while) and that she would find her way back to the lodge (where she was staying). We then hired a taxi and left for the Fort Aguada beach resort,” he said.
Kovalchuk stated that Elena was low on money that night.
The sequence of events in all the five statements was consistent and none of the Russians acknowledged any mention by Elena about travelling to Mumbai.
Numerous theories put forth by the police vis a vis the circumstances which lead to the mysterious death of the teenager have come up blank.
Hasty attempts by the police to establish that Elena died of an accidental fall from a train were exposed by a senior Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) official who said that it was impossible for a person to slip from a train and fall under its wheels.
The police had initially claimed that Elena’s passport was found near the body, whereas a seizure memo signed by the Mapusa police inspector Manjunath Dessai states that the passport was recovered from the hotel room she was staying in.