Before rape, Goa MLA ‘bought’ minor girl for Rs.50 lakh

Panaji, May 5 (IANS) Goa’s former education minister and an unattached legislator Atanasio Monserrate, who was arrested by the state police Crime Branch on Thursday for raping a minor girl, had “purchased” the girl for Rs.50 lakh from her aunt and an accomplice prior to the crime, police said on Thursday.

The summary of the first information report (FIR), recorded on the basis of the contents of the girl’s complaint and which was released to the media on Thursday evening, states that Monserrate “purchased” the girl from her aunt and an accomplice in March and raped her subsequently.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has termed the accusations against the St. Cruz legislator as “serious” and meriting a thorough probe by police.

Monserrate was formally arrested by the women’s police station officials after he surrendered on Thursday afternoon.

Before stepping into the Crime Branch office to surrender, Monserrate said he was innocent and the victim of a controversy.

“This is a set-up. I am innocent and have nothing to fear. I am being targeted as part of a controversy,” said Monserrate, who was accompanied by his wife and Congress legislator Jennifer.

On Wednesday, Monserrate, also known as Babush, was booked by Panaji police officials for allegedly raping the minor girl.

After the arrest, Superintendent of Police (Crime) Karthik Kashyap told reporters that there was strong evidence against Monserrate to merit his arrest.

“We have strong evidence against Babush for raping the minor girl. We have collected digital, circumstantial and forensic evidence too,” Kashyap said.

Monserrate has been booked on charges of wrongful confinement, causing hurt, detaining against will, rape and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Goa Children’s Act.

Parsekar told reporters that considering the seriousness of the accusations levelled against Monserrate, there needs to be a thorough police probe.

“I feel police need to figure out the genuineness of the case. Let the investigation get completed. Police have been asked to do an in-depth investigation.

“I have been given to understand that the incident did not occur today or yesterday. It happened weeks ago. Therefore, it needs to be investigated properly because he is a public figure,” Parsekar said.

Monserrate was elected from the St. Cruz constituency on a Congress ticket, but was sacked by the party after he started hobnobbing with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

He has been booked in the past for extortion. His son Rohit was also arrested for allegedly raping a minor German girl five years ago, but was later acquitted.



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