Free Press Journal

More than one behind the killing, says British woman’s kin


Panaji : The family members of a British woman, found dead on a south Goa beach last week, suspect the roles of more than one person in killing her, says the lawyer representing the victim’s family.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Canacona) Sammy Tavares, however, maintained that it’s a “handiwork of a single person,” ruling out the role of a gang behind the crime.

The 28-year-old woman was found dead last Tuesday at an isolated stretch between Agonda and Canacona beaches. Police have arrested one Vikas Bhagat, 23 in connection with the case.

“The family members of the victim say she was a strong girl and would have been able to defend herself from any attack by a single person,” Vikram Varma, the lawyer representing the family of the British woman told PTI.

“The preliminary theory of the police is based on a confession and needs to be substantiated with forensic evidence,” he said. “As the police have not concluded its probe, I would not rule out the possibility of more persons being involved in the crime,” said Varma, who was also assisting Fiona Mackowen, the mother of Scarlett Keeling, another British girl who was found dead in Goa in 2008.

“Petty criminals often work in gangs and do have substantial skills in misleading people as well as the police. I do hope they do not succeed in this case,” he said.

Tavares, meanwhile, said, “The police are conducting a thorough investigation in the case. It is a handiwork of a single person. There is no possibility of a gang doing it. We have gathered enough evidence.” The officer said the pieces of evidence, collected by the police, will ensure the conviction of the accused in this case.

In a related development, the police have issued a no-objection certificate to the British embassy to fly the victim’s body to her native place. “They are yet to fly the body back to the native place. The formalities are going on to do so,” Tavares said.

The autopsy, conducted by a panel of doctors from Goa Medical College and Hospital, confirmed that the woman was strangulated to death. The forensic examination had also confirmed that she was sexually abused before she was murdered. –PTI