Russian’s death in Goa: railways doubt police theory

May 11th, 2009 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, May 11 (IANS) Konkan railway officials have disputed the police theory that a 19-year-old Russian girl Elena Sukhonova, whose dismembered body was found near the railway tracks near Revora in North Goa, had died after falling off the train.
In a statement to the media, Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) PRO Baban Ghatge ridiculed the police theory.

“It was impossible for someone travelling onboard a particular train, to get under its wheels,” Ghatge told reporters.

“We have checked our records and found that she did not purchase any ticket to Mumbai or elsewhere,” he added.

The KRCL statement completely demolished the theory given by police to the media that Elena died after falling off the train.

Goa Police officials were criticized for botching up investigations into the murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling. The case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI).

Even as the KRCL statement categorically states that Elena did not purchase any railway ticket, Superintendent of Police (North) Tony Fernandes said the police were still expecting a reply from KRCL officials as to whether Elena had purchased a ticket on board the train.

“We are still investigating whether she was onboard a train when this incident happened. We are waiting for the KRCL to give us information on whether she bought any tickets that night,” Fernandes said.

Elena had arrived in Goa April 19 as part of a group of charter tourists from Moscow. The group was to leave Goa May 3 when Elena went missing. Police are also on the lookout for two Indians and a group of Russians with whom Elena had allegedly spent some time before she died.

Police said one of the Indians was Winnie or Vinay, whom Elena had befriended, and a waiter named Bir Singh, from Himachal Pradesh, who was working at the Sun City hotel in Baga.

Bir Singh, police said, had been sacked for his proximity to the Russian teenager a couple of days before Elena’s body was found. “Winnie was also working as a waiter at a beach shack in Baga, but he too has left the job. We are trying to track him down,” police said.

Police are also intrigued by CCTV footage sourced from a security camera fixed behind the hotel’s reception desk which shows a burly Russian asking for Elena on the night when the Russian girl left the hotel, never to return.

On May 9, Elena’s mutilated body was found on the railway track near a village called Revora, about 30 km from here.

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