German consulate asks Goa to protect rape victim, mother

October 15th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Oct 15 (IANS) The German consulate has asked the Goa government to ensure protection to German researcher Fadela Fuchs and her 14-year-old daughter, who was allegedly raped by state Education Minister Atanasio Monseratte’s son Rohit.Alarmed by an attack on Fuchs’ counsel Aires Rodrigues Monday night, the Mumbai consulate has expressed concern and asked the state government to pursue the charges made by Fuchs.

“I would be grateful if you could ensure that the criminal investigation is pursued vigorously and that the safety of Fuchs and her daughter is not compromised,” German Consul General in Mumbai Walter Stechel said in a letter to chief secretary J.P. Singh Tuesday.

Fuchs, whose criminal complaint was registered Tuesday after a 12-day delay, had claimed that 21-year-old Rohit had caused mental and physical agony to her daughter by raping her and sending lewd SMSes.

Fuchs had claimed that the police “preferred her not to pursue the complaint”.

On Monday night, Rodrigues was attacked by a group of masked men while having dinner with a social activist at a city restaurant. He lost two fingers in the assault, which he alleged was planned by Monseratte.

“I have received calls from Monseratte’s friends and others in high positions who warned me against pursuing the case. Monseratte also sent a some people to Fadela’s house to try and ensure that the case is dropped,” Rodrigues had told reporters.

On Tuesday, Rohit was booked under Sections 354, 376, 293 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). However, he has still not been arrested.

The minister has been accused of abetting the crime since the mobile phone from which Rohit sent the messages belonged to him.

Official sources said Home Minister Ravi Naik has since Tuesday summoned the police top brass twice to his official residence for updates on the investigation involving his cabinet colleague’s son.

Police sources claimed that the victim has not been cooperating with officials probing the case.

“She has not given us a statement yet. She is also not willing to undergo a medical examination,” a police official said.

Rodrigues said that considering the sensitive nature of the case, he had asked the Goa police to use lady officers to record the victim’s statement.

“It’s a sensitive issue. Both the mother and the daughter are in a state of trauma,” he said.

Sources said the investigators are likely to rope in a child psychiatrist in order to convince the victim to depose in the case.

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