Dead British charity worker’s family sees hope in CBI probe

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Panaji, Jan 10 (IANS) The family of British social worker Denyse Sweeney, who was found dead in mysterious circumstances five years ago in a Goa nightclub, has welcomed the central government’s decision to get the death investigated by the CBI.

Speaking to IANS on Sunday from Britain, Denyse’s sister Maureen, who has been running a campaign for justice, said that after years of perseverance, there was a sense of hope that the person they suspect would finally be on the investigators’ radar.

“I feel a mixture of emotions. I am glad that the CBI has taken the case but we have been told this several times before only to find out it was not. I feel a glimmer of hope that the man we want to speak to is finally on the police’s radar, although we have no faith in the police in Goa,” Maureen said.

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Media reports on Sunday quoted CBI spokesperson R.K. Gaur as saying that the central agency had taken over the probe from Goa Police.

Denyse, a 34-year-old resident of Derby in Britain, was found near the toilet of a nightclub in the beach village of Vagator in north Goa, 20 km from Panaji. She was taken to a medical clinic and died while undergoing treatment on April 16, 2010.

A first information report filed at the Anjuna police station said Denyse died an unnatural death, but there was not much headway in the police investigation.

While police claimed Denyse died of a drug overdose, pathological tests conducted on the remains showed otherwise and also revealed 20 unexplained marks on the body.

Over the last five years, Maureen has been running an international campaign for justice for her dead sister, petitioning the media and governments both in India and Britain with dogged perseverance in a bid to ensure a sincere investigation into her sister’s unnatural death, while also pointing to flaws in the police investigation.

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“We have no faith in the politicians or police but we are grateful for the support we have had from the media and the people of Goa,” Maureen said.

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