Rights activists assaulted in Panaji restaurant

October 14th, 2008 - 1:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Oct 14 (IANS) Two rights activists, including one who was instrumental in the sexual harassment complaint against a Goa minister’s son, were seriously injured when an armed group of men attacked them while they were having dinner at a Panaji hotel. Aires Rodrigues, spokesperson of the NGO Utt Goenkara, and Prajal Sakhardande, a member of the Save Goa Abhiyaan, were assaulted by a group of eight men Monday night at the Ashok Hotel in this Goa capital.

Two of Rodrigues’ fingers were severed in the assault, said Jatin Naik, executive committee member of Utt Goenkara.

“He and Prajal have been admitted to the Campal clinic. The assault happened when they were having dinner at Ashok hotel. An armed group of about eight people assaulted them at around 10 p.m.,” Naik told IANS.

Superintendent of Police (North) Bosco George said police were aware of the attack on Rodrigues and efforts were being made to nab the accused.

According to Naik, police were forced to take action on a complaint by a German researcher that her daughter was being harassed by Education Minister Atanasio Monseratte’s son Rohit after Rodrigues and other rights activists raked up the issue.

Fadella Fuchs, a researcher on Indian mythology, had said in her Oct 2 complaint to the Calangute police that Rohit had been sending her daughter lewd SMS messages.

However, police only took up the case nine days after the complaint was filed.

Rodrigues had also exposed that affidavits filed by Monseratte to the Election Commission were fake. Besides, he helped unearth a salary scam in the Panaji Municipal Corporation. An Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official is the main accused in the case.

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