Russian consulate jumped the gun over teen’s death: police

May 14th, 2009 - 12:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, May 14 (IANS) The Russian consulate has jumped the gun in critiquing police investigations into the death of Russian teenager Elena Sukhonova, a police spokesperson said here Thursday.
Superintendent of Police Atmaram Deshpande told IANS that it was still early to comment on the probe into the incident as there was a lot of leg work yet to be done.

“I don’t see what the Russian consulate officials have to be dissatisfied about. Our investigations are in progress. It is premature and too early for comment,” Deshpande said.

Russian consul general Alexander Mantytsky had written a letter to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, asking him to take “personal control” of the investigation into the 19-year-old Russian tourist’s murder.

Mantytsky had also said the police theory that Elena’s death was accidental wasn’t conclusive.

Contradicting the stand taken by Superintendent of Police Tony Fernandes, the chief supervisory officer in the investigation, Deshpande said that it was still too early to say that Elena’s death was due to accident.

“As far as I know, we still have not been able to ascertain the exact reason for Elena’s death,” Deshpande said.

After switching versions several times, Fernandes had Tuesday evening said that Elena’s death was accidental, claiming that the post mortem report had indicated the same.

Elena’s body was found last week in a mutilated state by the railway track near a village called Revora, about 30 km from here.

The police, who initially claimed that Elena had died after falling from the train, were forced to eat their own words after the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited officials rubbished the theory.

Meanwhile, the police have already detained and released the driver Vardhaman Simepurushkar who allegedly dropped Elena to the railway station on Friday morning and the waiter Vinnie, who had reportedly befriended the deceased.

A police team has also been dispatched to Himachal Pradesh to track down a bell boy who was employed in the hotel where Elena was staying.

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