Delay in taking cop’s statement in Scarlet case questioned

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

PANAJI - In the British teenager Scarlett Keeling’s case, Goa Police took nearly one month to record statements of policemen who were the first to reach Anjuna beach where her body was found Feb 18, 2008, a defence counsel said Wednesday.

Defence counsel Ryan Menezes said during the cross examination on day two of the trial into 15-year-old Keeling’s sexual assault and subsequent death, that crucial statements of two police personnel, head constable Kishore Naik and constable Atmaram Gawas, were not even recorded till March 13.

“They had reported on duty regularly after the incident on Feb 18, but the police recorded their statement only on March 13,” Menezes said.

Head constable Kishor Naik, then posted at the Anjuna police station, had first dispatched a police control room van to Anjuna beach to confirm a phone call informing them about the presence of a body there.

Atmaram Gawas, a constable, received the phone call from an unknown person informing of a dead body at Anjuna beach. Gawas had passed on the information to Naik.

Incidentally, no effort was made by the police to track down the caller who had informed them of the dead body, the counsel claimed.

The Scarlett Keeling case trial began Monday in Panaji at the Goa Children’s Court (GCC), which is the designated court to hear matters involving crimes against minors.

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