Assault case splits Goa cabinet | india | Hindustan Times
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Assault case splits Goa cabinet

india Updated: Oct 17, 2008 00:33 IST
Mayabhushan Nagvenkar

The sexual assault case involving a German girl in which Goa’s education minister’s son has been booked for rape and he for abetting crime has split the state government right in the middle.

Atanasio Monseratte’s son Rohit has been booked for rape and the minister for abetting crime on the complaint of the mother of the 14-year-old girl.

While Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao, who is supporting Monseratte, has claimed the cabinet was split on the issue, Monseratte is gunning for Home Minister Ravi Naik.

Speaking to mediapersons on Thursday, Alemao, who leads the MLAs and ministers backing Monseratte, said they would seek a change in leadership.

Addressing a press conference late Wednesday night at his home, Monseratte had claimed that Naik was unfairly targeting him and his family. “His son was also facing allegations (Naik’s son Roy has been linked by the UK media to the murders of two UK nationals in Goa and Maharashtra— Scarlett Keeling and Stephen Bennett). He is using a different yardstick in my case,” Monseratte had said.

Responding to the charges, Naik told HT that there was no vendetta involved. “Law will take its own course. If there is a complaint, it will be pursued,” he said.

The Congress leadership has already sent party general secretary and Goa incharge B. Hariprasad to quell the crisis.

Meanwhile, the police have issued a lookout notice for Rohit. They have dismissed reports that the victim’s refusal to record statement would weaken their case.

“She is a minor. Her statement is not the only evidence we have. There is sufficient material for us to proceed. We have already seized the mobile phone and SIM card and sent it for a forensic analysis,” SP (North) Bosco George said.

Rohit has also been accused of sending lewd messages to the girl.