Thursday, March 13, 2008

The strange going ons in the Goa murder case

Suddenly, there are a number of questions about the conduct of the mother in the case of the British teenager Scarlett Keeling in Goa, a horrible case where the daughter was murdered on a beach in Goa. There is some backlash emerging against the mother in terms of questioning as to why the girl was left alone, that the girl was doing drugs, that she should have been in school, etc. These are all valid questions, and are relevant to a case where child services would investigate as to whether the children are being brought up in a home where they are getting the proper care, education, etc.
However, the worrying facts of this case is the conduct of the local Goa police.

After Scarlett was found dead on the Anjuna beach, her family had contended that she was raped and murdered. Initially reluctant to treat it as a murder case, Goa Police carried out a detailed probe after a second autopsy was conducted by a team of doctors here following a demand by the girl's mother Fiona MacKeown. "We are happy that police have conducted investigations properly but we want that police's act of misguiding Fiona Mackowen (Scarlett's mother) should also be probed," Vikram Varma, lawyer for Scarlett's family, said.
He said the arrests have been made in the right direction. "But the key for the entire incident is the nexus between criminals, police and politicians which should be unearthed," he said. The family members feel that police have done half their job.
"Scarlett's death investigation was just a part of the entire case. The other half is police complicity in trying to hide the crime. The entire episode of abetment of crime by the police needs to be investigated," he said.

And what the Goa police did was very shocking. One is pretty sure that they had realized that the investigation would reveal the rape and murder of a young tourist girl, and to avoid bad publicity (or to just keep the police case count down and avoid investigating a murder case), the police dismissed the case as that of a drowning. It took the effort of the girl's mother to get pressure to bear on the police and get them to do a second autopsy and investigation which ultimately revealed the truth about the atrocities done on the young girl.
It is not easy to accept such action by the police. In society, the police have been given unprecedented powers of crime prevention and investigation, but those are coupled with a responsibility that the police do its best (and not run for the easy way like it happened in this case). This case needs to be properly investigated and guilty policemen punished. Just imagine what would be the case of the murder investigation of a poor man; this case was after all the mother of a foreign tourist in Goa who could bring an immediate media attention to the case and force action.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 10:46 AM