Goa: Man, accused in murder of female British backpacker, granted interim bail - Hindustan Times
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Goa: Man, accused in murder of female British backpacker, granted interim bail

Feb 23, 2024 08:58 AM IST

The Irish backpacker was on a visit to Goa in 2017 when Vikat Bhagat befriended and allegedly committed the murder after spending the evening with her

The Bombay high court in Goa has granted interim bail to a man, accused of murdering Irish backpacker Danielle McLaughlin at Palolem beach in south Goa in 2017, to attend his sister’s wedding.

Representational image.
Representational image.

Vikat Bhagat, who has been in custody since the incident, was granted bail on the condition that he “shall be taken in police escort on 24/02/2024 at the marriage venue which is at Fatorda during the morning time and after the marriage ceremony is over should be handed over back to the jail authorities”.

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Bhagat applied for bail to attend his sister’s wedding and cited the precedent of being granted a similar bail to complete his father’s final rites with a police escort.

“The applicant shall be taken in police escort on 24/02/2024 at the marriage venue which is at Fatorda during the morning time and after the marriage ceremony is over should be handed over back to the jail authorities. The petitioner shall pay the necessary escort charges and the petitioner through his relatives shall make necessary arrangements for one private vehicle for himself and the police,” the HC bench of Justice Bharat Deshpande ruled.

Bhagat’s application for regular bail was earlier denied.

McLaughlin, 28, who hailed from Donegal in Northwest Ireland, was on a visit to Goa in 2017 when Bhagat, a local she befriended during her stay, allegedly murdered her after spending the evening with her.

The 28-year-old had come to Goa with a friend and celebrated Holi in the coastal village of Canacona, known for its popular beach Palolem. Danielle was reportedly struck with a stone resulting in her death. The woman’s body was lying in a pool of blood without clothes and there were injuries to her head and face.

A post-mortem had concluded that McLaughlin died due to brain damage and constriction of the neck. A former student of Liverpool John Moores University, McLaughlin was a dual citizen of Ireland and the United Kingdom. She travelled to India in February 2017 on a British passport.

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