Panaji, Goa Police on Saturday arrested three persons in connection with a gang-rape at the popular Colva beach late on Friday night, even as a Goa Minister has bemoaned the quality of tourists visiting the coastal state. The three accused-tourists from Indore have been charged with robbing and gang-raping a 20-year-old girl late on Friday, while she was visiting Colva beach along with her 22-year-old boyfriend.
“All three accused have been arrested. Two accused Sanjiv Dhananjay Pal, 23, and Ram Santosh Bhariya, 19, both from Indore were arrested early on Saturday morning. The third accused Vishwas Makrana, 24, also from Indore was picked up from a railway station in South Goa later today,” Superintendent of Police (South Goa) Arvind Gawas told reporters. The victim, who hails from a nearby village, had also claimed that the sexual assault was filmed by the alleged rapists and she was warned by them against informing the police.
Police have said that medical examination of the victim has confirmed rape. An FIR was filed late on Friday at Colva police station under sections 376 (rape) and 394 (robbery) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Following the arrest of the third accused, Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai in a tweet complimented police for the swift investigation, while also bemoaning the quality of tourists coming to Goa. “A case of blackmail, rape and robbery by ‘tourists’! I have always stressed that quality of tourists should be our focus! Only then can #Goa be safe and forward!” Sardesai said.
Some months ago, Sardesai had courted controversy after he said that a majority of the domestic tourists coming to Goa were “scum of the earth”. Goa, a top beach and lifestyle tourism designation in the country, attracts more than seven million tourists every year, out of which half a million are foreigners.