Clean chit to Goa cop in Russian rape complaint case
The inspector forced a Russian resident to tone down her complaint.
Panaji: The Goa Police on Tuesday gave a clean chit to a police inspector who had faced the charge of forcing a Russian resident to tone down her rape complaint against a Goa politician to molestation.
The clean chit followed a formal "departmental inquiry" in which the Russian victim's statement was not even recorded.
"I don't even know about the inquiry. No statement of mine was ever recorded in this matter and no one contacted me about it," she told reporters on Tuesday.
Last December, the 25-year-old Russian, who worked as a liaison officer with a five star resort in south Goa, had alleged that local politician John Fernandes - of regional political outfit Save Goa Front - had raped her after spiking her drinks.
According to the victim, police inspector Siddhant Shirodkar refused to file her rape complaint when she went to the Colva police station to register a First Information Report. Instead, he insisted on filing it as a case of molestation.
The victim also said that Shirodkar had tried to dissuade her from filing a complaint saying John was a resourceful politician with good contacts in the state cabinet and the police department who could even get her visa cancelled.
"I don't know how they can give a clean chit in an enquiry, which concerns me, without even asking me," the victim said. When contacted, a police spokesperson said that the department would issue a formal reaction to the Russian victim's charge later in the day.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had refused to grant anticipatory bail to Fernandes in the case.
Vikram Varma, who is the legal representative of the Russian consulate in Goa, said that the Goa police department should deal with such transgressions of official power in a swift and sure manner.
"You have seen what has happened in the case of former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore. Those who abuse the power of the uniform, especially in such sensitive cases, should be taken to task," said Varma, referring to the case of the former police chief who was Tuesday charged with abetting the suicide of teenager Ruchika Girhotra who killed herself in 1993, three years after he molested her.
Goa has been under the spotlight in recent years for crimes against foreign nationals, especially women. The rape and murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling opened a Pandora's box over the safety of foreigners in the state that attracts two million tourists, including half a million foreigners, to its shores annually.