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'Missing' rape victim may be on a visit: Goa Congress

IANS  |  Panaji 

The "missing" rape victim who, in 2016, had accused Monserrate, now a candidate for the Panaji assembly bypoll on May 19, could have gone for a party or a wedding and may not be missing at all, said on Tuesday.

Ferreira told reporters here that the victim, who was minor at the time of the alleged rape and is now a of age, could have gone for a party or a wedding and could return back to the shelter home in South Goa, from where she went missing on April 28.

"She may have gone for a party or a wedding..she may return too. Police cannot file a case of abduction because she is now of age. The case is motivated," Ferreira said.

Addressing a press conference at the party office here, state accused the of allegedly facilitating the "sudden disappearance" of the victim, in order to draw political mileage ahead of the bypoll.

Nuns who run the shelter home, where the victim was being rehabilitated, had filed the missing complaint at the station in South on April 28. On Monday, the police upgraded the missing complaint and added charges under Section 362 (abduction) of the Indian Penal Code.

Police sources said that the victim had "disappeared" on four occasions in the past, but had returned back to the shelter home on each occasion. The police investigation has revealed that she was last seen getting off a public transport bus on April 28 at Zuarinagar, a suburb of the port town of in South district.

Monserrate was chargesheeted last year under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 506 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act after being booked in 2016 for allegedly raping the girl, who was minor at the time, after drugging her.

The state Congress also accused the BJP of "engineering" the controversy for political benefit.

"The girl went missing on April 28 and the BJP with the help of the police is raking this controversy for political benefit. The BJP has resorted to such unscrupulous strategies in the past. The police is helping the BJP-led coalition government to create a situation and get political mileage," Chodankar said.

"Their plan is to create an atmosphere of confusion before the election. For all you know, we may see, the victim return back to the home after elections. The government and the police should provide protection to her at the earliest," he added.

--IANS

maya/bc

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 14:40 IST
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