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Goa cops afraid suspect may flee

The Goa Police said they were concerned about the possibility of state Education Minister's son Rohit fleeing the country, after he was formally charged with raping a German girl.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2008 20:59 IST

The Goa Police on Wednesday said they were concerned about the possibility of state Education Minister Atanasio Monseratte's son Rohit fleeing the country, after he was formally charged with raping a 14-year-old German girl on Tuesday.

"We are worried about him (Rohit) leaving India," Superintendent of Police (north) Bosco George told reporters in Panaji.

Rohit has managed to elude the police, even as his father maintains he is innocent.

Police, however, refused to divulge any more information on its probe into the sensational case where a German woman has charged the minister's son of raping her 14-year-old daughter and sending her lewd messages.

The complaint, which was filed by the victim's mother Fadela Fuchs Oct 2, was registered after 12 days at 12.10 pm on Tuesday. Fuchs had claimed that the police "preferred her not to pursue the complaint".

Minister Monseratte has also been booked for abetting his son in the crime.

Asked how long the police would take to declare Rohit an absconder, George refused to give a clear answer.

Questioned about Monseratte's claims of his son's innocence, the officer said: "Then let him come to the police station and prove it."

Inspector General of Police Kishen Kumar said a women police officer, a child psychiatrist and an NGO working for child rights were trying to get the victim to make a statement.

"We are using a psychological approach. She is a small girl and this is a sensitive case," he said.

Earlier the German Consulate in Mumbai wrote to the Goa government expressing its concern in the matter. It has asked the government to ensure "that the safety of Fuchs and her daughter is not compromised".

Fuchs has claimed that the minister's wife had also approached her, asking her to drop the complaint against her 21-year-old son.

Fuch's counsel Aires Roderigues was severely injured on Monday night after he was assaulted by a group of masked attackers. Roderigues alleged at a press conference Tuesday that Monseratte had masterminded the attack. The minister has denied the allegation.