Herald: What do we tell the families of these raped and killed tourists?

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What do we tell the families of these raped and killed tourists?

26 Oct 2014 12:54am IST
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26 Oct 2014 12:54am IST
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Last week, yet another Russian tourist was molested in the tourist belt of Calangute and complained that she was molested yet again by a GMC doctor during her medical examination. While an inquiry is on by Collector North Goa, thankfully a lady officer, the Goa Police and the government has blood on its hands, of tourists who have died or more likely killed and /or been raped. While the current molestation case has hit the headlines because of the alleged involvement of a GMC doctor, tourists to Goa have arrived for the holiday of their lives and returned as rape victims or in their coffins. GLENN COSTA picks up five such cases

Scarlett Keeling: 

On February 18, 2008, British teen Scarlett Keeling was found dead at Anjuna beach in a semi nude state with large number of bruises on her body. 

After the police botched up the investigation, another autopsy was ordered after her mother raised objections that were picked up by the media. The case was finally transferred to the CBI and two accused - both out on bail - have been facing trial since 2010. 

Six years is a long time and Scarlett deserves justice, which lies in the hands of Goa administration. “As Leader of Opposition in 2008, you stood as a beacon of justice. I hope, me and my other children will still be able to look up to you with the same respect,” Fiona MacKeown, Scarlett’s mother’s letter to now Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar as reported in the media stated.

Elena Sukhanova 

Elena Sukahanova, a 19-year-old Russian, who was found murdered in Goa. Elena came to Goa on May 6, 2009 and booked into the Sun City Resort, Baga. She was found dead on May 9, three days after her arrival. Her mutilated body was found on the railway tracks near Tivim. Police are quoted as saying that her scattered body organs were found on the track at Revora village, 15 kms away from Panjim. They further stated that that the deceased was in the company of 38-year-old Russian man few days before her death. 

Stephen Bennett 

Stephen Bennett, 40, was travelling from Goa to Mumbai. His body was found hanging in the jungle in Malsai, Maharashtra. The prosecution's main witness retracted his statement during the trial, resulting in the acquittal of all six accused by the judge. The British tourist, a part-time actor, had been clubbed to death before being strung up with a sari, apparently to disguise the murder as suicide. Police charged that Stephen was a "small-scale" drugs dealer, an allegation denied vehemently by his family.

Police say that they had recovered the blocks used to kill him and his bloodstained clothing from the homes of the accused. But in Malsai, villagers say police tortured people to extract confessions. 

He arrived in Goa on Sunday December 3, 2006 as recorded in his passport, but by Wednesday December 6 he had become desperate to escape and phoned his mother in Cheltenham, UK.

Records show he hopped from hotel to hotel, ending up at the Palacio de Goa. On December 7 morning, he took a taxi driven by Darminder Naik who dropped him off at the bus station. His family alleged that he was being threatened by two men and that he was abducted in Goa for money and bundled out of the State. His mother had told media then that, "He wanted somebody to come and rescue him. I said: 'why don't you go to the police?' He said: 'I'm not going to the police because the local mafia runs Goa'."

Bennett had a ticket for the Mandovi Express, which left Goa's Margao station on December 7 at 10 am and stopped at 6.22 pm at Roha, four miles from Malsai. However, detectives are unsure whether he boarded the train because the ticket was not punched. 

Minor’s rape at Arambol

Two men had sexually assaulted a nine-year-old Russian girl while she was bathing with her mother off Arambol beach on January 26, 2010. The news had hit international headlines and questions were raised about the safety of foreign tourists, particularly women in Goa. The police stepped up their investigation and arrested the culprits identified as Aman Bharadwaj and Anil Raghuvanshi from Chembur in Mumbai. Aman was charged for sexually assaulting the minor while Anil engaged her mother in talks to divert attention from her daughter. In one of the fastest case trials, the children’s court convicted Aman, while Anil who turned State-approver was let off with minor penalties.  

Denyse Sweeney:

According to the last information shared with the media, Goa government had issued notification handing over the April 2010 unsolved murder case of British national Denyse Sweeney to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

Sweeney, a charity worker, was found unconscious at a nightclub at Vagator and died during treatment at a private hospital on April 16, 2010. The medical reports had stated that she had most likely died due to drug overdose. After intense pressure from the British family, the Anjuna police had re-opened the case in 2012 and treated her death as murder, which was earlier registered as unnatural death. 

However, the viscera analysis report had indicated that there were no traces of alcohol or drugs in her body. The viscera was sent in November 2011 to the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory at Surat, after almost 20 months delay, as Goa Police failed to get appointments from various forensic laboratories for analysis. Police had said the negative report resulted perhaps resulted from the delay in the chemical test of the viscera. 
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