The accused involved in the rape of a nine-year-old Russian girl was on Thursday identified by Goa police as a man from Uttar Pradesh working for a local pharma firm and both he and his colleague who has also been implicated in the crime are absconding.
The breakthrough for the police in identifying the accused as Aman Bharadwaj two days after the crime was committed on Arambol beach, 35 kms from Panaji, came even as the incident triggered a rift in the state Cabinet with Tourism Minister Fransisco Pacheco leading the charge apparently targeting Home Minister and Congress leader Ravi Naik.
DIG Ravindar Yadav said Aman's colleague Anil, who allegedly engaged the girl's mother in a small talk on the beachside during the crime when the girl was playing in the water, has also been implicated in the case.
Yadav said a group of ten men working for the pharma firm had gone to the beach and the two accused broke away and went to an isolated beach stretch where the victim and her mother were spending some time.
Yadav said the police, which released the photograph of Bharadwaj believed to be around 30 years, was confident of arresting the two young men soon.
The incident has prompted the NCP to attack its senior ruling coalition partner Congress in Goa.
Pacheco, a NCP legislator, asked the Congress high command to act against the party Ministers who are not "able to handle their portfolios". "If some ministers cannot handle their portfolios then they should give them up," Pacheco said, in a veiled reference to the Home Minister.
" I had moved a confidential file to Chief Minister and called for an urgent meeting between Home Ministry and Tourism Ministry in his (CM) presence," Pacheco told PTI. "But there was no response to my communication from Chief Minister's Office," said Pacheco who has often voiced fears about Goa being branded as India's rape capital.