Cabbie charged with molestation after trying to rape Russian tourists


Panaji: The Goa police have arrested a taxi driver, accused of attempted rape by two Russian women on Christmas night, but has charged him with molestation instead.

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Pramod Shrikant Shirodkar was arrested in the early hours of Saturday and booked under sections 509, 323 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), dealing with ‘outraging the modesty of a woman’, ‘causing hurt’ and ‘threatening’ respectively, a police spokesperson told IANS.

Shirodkar had allegedly tried to rape the two Russian women who attended a Christmas party at a popular night club in Goa in the early hours of Friday. After agreeing to drop them to their hotel for Rs.300 at about 2:30 a.m, he instead took them to Anjuna beach, where and an accomplice tried to rape them, the police said.

The victims had to run away and hide in a jungle for several hours, before they could muster courage to file a complaint at the Anjuna police station. In their complaint, the women said that the taxi driver attempted to rape them.

Legal representative of the Russian consulate Vikram Varma said he would record the statements of the two women and send them over to the consulate in Mumbai.

“We will try to take the statement in the Russian language and send it to the Russian authorities in Mumbai so that they can understand the situation,” Varma said.

This is not the first instance when Goa police officials have tried to play down complaints affecting women tourists.

It comes less than a month after officials watered down a rape complaint filed by yet another Russian woman against a local politician to ‘attempted rape’. The case was transferred to the crime branch after it triggered a media frenzy.