John Fernandes, accused of raping a Russian woman in Goa, has gone missing after his anticipatory bail was cancelled by the high court Tuesday, police said on Wednesday.
Fernandes, who allegedly raped the 25-year-old woman in the wee hours of Dec 2, had been granted anticipatory bail by a local court earlier.
Speaking to reporters, police spokesperson Atmaram Deshpande said that efforts were being made to trace him.
"Naturally it's a guilty mind. All steps required to catch fugitives will be done in this case now," he said.
Incidentally, the state police are on record saying that they did not make any efforts to trace Fernandes during the time he was granted anticipatory bail.
"We did not make any attempt to trace him. We want him in custody. We do not want to have a chat with him," Deshpande had said last week, when asked whether police were on the look out for Fernandes.
The Goa police have been criticised for initially harassing the victim into not registering the offence. The victim has also alleged that the police were supporting the accused Fernandes, a local politician, instead of her.
"No police officer visited me. I was made to travel 70 km every day to the crime branch for days on end at an hour's notice on the pretext of one statement or another," she said, adding that the police were mute spectators to the supporters of the accused assaulting and threatening her outside court premises.
On Tuesday, the Panaji bench of the Bombay High court, while cancelling Fernandes' anticipatory bail had observed that the injuries on victim's vital parts like thighs and knees indicated that were was no possibility of any consent for the sexual act.
Justice UD Salvi had also said that the intoxication of the victim was a part of the accused's design to sexually assault her. He further instructed the police to recover the undergarments worn by the accused left in the car after the rape.
Following the allegations of corruption and mishandling of the rape investigations, the Russian consulate was forced to write to the state government seeking a thorough probe into the incident.