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Woman who accused Monserratte of rape goes missing

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

The woman who lodged a rape case against former Goa minister and Congress' Panaji bypoll nominee Atanasio Monserratte has gone missing from a rehabilitation facility here, police said on Monday.

Verna police inspector Sandesh Chodankar said the woman, who charged Monserratte with drugging and raping her in 2016 when she was a minor, was undergoing rehabilitation at a facility in South Goa district from where she went missing on April 28.

Last month, a missing person complaint was lodged and later on May 10, the police registered an FIR for offence of abduction against an unknown person, Chodankar said, adding that efforts were on to trace the woman.

Monserratte, who is contesting the upcoming Panaji Assembly bypoll on Congress' ticket, was booked in May 2016 for allegedly raping the woman in March that year, when she was 17 years' old.

A charge sheet was later filed against him by the police in the district court of North Goa.

Auda Viegas, director of a South Goa-based NGO, said the victim was initially kept at a state-run facility for juveniles, but later shifted to a convent in South Goa as part of her rehabilitation.

Viegas accompanied officials of the convent on April 28 to file the complaint, after the victim went missing.

She said the victim was pursuing a fashion designing course, and feared that she might be at "risk" as the case involving her was "high-profile".

The by-election to Panaji Assembly seat will be held on May 19.

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

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 16:06 IST