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Russian consul general seeks proper probe into rape case


Panaji : The Russian consulate in Mumbai has asked the Goa chief minister to ensure proper investigation into the alleged rape of a 25-year-old Russian girl by a local politician, and warned that such incidents “spoil the image of Goa as a safe place for tourists”.

In his letter dated December 7, a copy of which is in possession of IANS, Consul-General Alexander Mantytsky said: “The consulate general would like you to order corresponding authorities to take necessary actions to investigate the crime, punish the guilty and keep us well posted on about the results”.

It cites the Russian woman’s claim that the Goa police officials had tried to dissuade her from filing a case against the accused, John Fernandes, a politician attached to a regional political outfit, the Save Goa Front (SGF).

“Next day, they went to the Colva police station to lodge a complaint. Policemen asked not to do that because John Fernandes was a local politician and any attempts to investigate this case would be useless,” the consul general’s letter quotes the victim as saying.

“As per the applicant, the police threatened her with the cancellation of her visa. They forced her to file a complaint about molestation, not rape. Police also registered the case under section 354 (assault) of the IPC and warned her if she did not change the rape charge, she would lose her job,” Mantytsky said.

He noted that the victim is a holder of a triple business visa valid till October 2010 and that she is the Russian representative at the Leela hotel at Cavelossim, in South Goa.

Nearly 30,000 Russian tourists visit Goa each year.