14 Oct 2021  |   05:47am IST

Irish govt to monitor trial of Danielle murder case

Delegation from Ireland expeected to arrive in India to lobby for quick trial
Irish govt to monitor trial of Danielle murder case

Team Herald

PANJIM: The ongoing trial in the rape and murder of Irish national Danielle McLaughlin will now be closely monitored by the Department of Foreign Affairs of the government of Ireland. 

Local authorities are reportedly being informed that a delegation from the Irish government will soon arrive in India to lobby for the quick trial of Vikat Bhagat, accused of raping and murdering the backpacker.

The body of Danielle, from Buncrana, Co Donegal, was found in a field between the Agonda and Canacona beaches in March 2017. Bhagat, who was friendly with the tourist, was later charged with serious offences under the India Penal Code. His trial, which began in July 2017, has been marred by delays while her family has been regularly campaigning for quick justice.

The Ireland delegation is likely to make an official request to the trial court to expedite the trial against the alleged accused.

Bhagat, who was 24 at the time of murder, was rejected bail just recently. In his bail plea he had cited the slow pace of trial, which was delayed further due to the pandemic. The trial resumed over two months ago. 

The 28-year-old had visited Goa with a friend and celebrated the Holi festival in Canacona, during which she befriended Bhagat. She was found murdered on March 14 after the two had spent an evening together. Danielle was reportedly attacked with a stone and was found lying in a pool of blood without clothes with injuries to her head and face. A glass bottles was used to disfigure her face to avoid being identified by the police or people. 

The accused, a history-sheeter, is facing trial under Section 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of Indian Penal Code.