Panaji, May 13 (IANS) A minor girl who in 2016 had accused Atanasio Monserrate, who is now a Congress candidate for the May 19 Panaji assembly by-election, of rape is reported missing and the police have filed a complaint to track down the victim, police said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters, police inspector in-charge of the Verna police station Sandesh Chodankar said that officials of a shelter home run by Catholic nuns, which housed the minor girl, had filed a missing complaint on May 10, around 10 days after she went missing.
“We have filed a missing complaint and investigations are on to locate the girl,” Chodankar told reporters on Monday.
Monserrate was chargesheeted last year under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 506 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act after being booked in 2016 for allegedly raping the minor girl after drugging her.
Sometime after the incident, the victim was relocated by the family to a shelter run by nuns at the Velsao beach village, from where she is now reporting missing, reportedly after leaving to visit to her native home.
The minor’s rape case has emerged as one of the talking points in the election campaign of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its candidate for the March 19 assembly by-electon, Sidharth Kuncalienkar.
Earlier on Monday, Goa Congress’s Mahila Morcha presidnet Pratima Coutinho, had maintained that Monserrate, also known as ‘Babush’, had been framed by the police and had accused the BJP-led colaition government of vindictive politics.
“Babush has been framed in this case. This is an act of a vindictive government,” Coutinho told a press conference earlier on Monday.