Less than four days after her mutilated body was found along a railway track in North Goa, tales of a Russian teenager's fondness for late night parties and her "love affairs" have begun dribbling from police officials probing her mysterious death.
The series of leaks from the police about 19-year-old Elena Sukhonova's alleged affairs, drunkenness and late-night partying, which have been appearing in the local media, are a stark reminder of the attempts made by the police to cast aspersions on murdered British teenager Scarlett Keeling's character last year.
A leading local English newspaper has quoted Deputy Superintendent of Police Sammy Tavares as saying that Elena was sloshed with beer before a taxi driver dropped her off at the railway station.
"Police under the guidance of Sammy Tavares, who verified the movements of the victim before boarding the train, claimed that the girl had consumed beer at two prominent restaurants in Baga. Even the taxi driver who had dropped the victim at the railway station confirmed that she was carrying a couple of beer cans with her," the report in oHeraldo daily states, quoting Tavares subsequently.
Another newspaper, again quoting police sources, spoke about how the teenager's love for a waiter had made her stay back in Goa, eventually leading to her death.
Senior police officers of the rank of Superintendent of police, after reading out their formal statements, have been referring to the deceased as a "dirty Russian prostitute who met a dirty end", with the standard off-the-record caution to reporters.
Advocate Vikram Varma, representative of the Russian consulate, said that a "homicide is a homicide and there is no space for such character assassination in this case, which needed a serious probe".
"Just because you have had some beers does not give anyone the liberty to comment on your character," Varma told Ians.
"This case needs serious investigation. Let these issues not derail that aspect," he said.
The police have already been embarrassed after railway officials ridiculed their claim that Elena's death was accidental, due to a fall from a moving train. Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) spokesperson Baban Ghatge said it was impossible for a person travelling on board a train to fall under its wheels.
On May 9, Elena's body was found in a mutilated state on the railway track near a village called Revora, about 30 km from here.