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Scarlett's mother goes into hiding

The mother of slain British girl Scarlett Keeling had earlier accused Goa police officials, politicians and drugs mafia of a cover-up.

world Updated: Mar 24, 2008 22:33 IST

The mother of murdered British teenager Scarlett Keeling, has gone into hiding in Goa saying she feared for her safety.

The 43-year-old Fiona MacKeown on Sunday said that she wanted court protection after "stirring up a hornet's nest" in Goa by accusing police officials, politicians and local drugs mafia of a cover-up, The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.

The battered body of 15-year-old Scarlett was found on the beach resort of Anjuna in Goa on February 19. She was allegedly raped and then killed.

On Sunday, a pathologist's report stated the teenager had drowned after being "forcibly submerged" in water for five to ten minutes.

The report contradicted initial police findings that she had accidentally drowned.

MacKeown, who was accused of negligence after leaving Scarlett with friends at the time of the murder, has repeatedly criticised the police and sought a CBI probe.

"We've been warned by a lot of locals to be careful. We've been stirring up a big hornet's nest here. We've heard that some people aren't very happy with us. The beach is deserted, half the shacks have been closed, a lot of people are losing business," the mother of nine said.

Her lawyer, Vikram Varma, said he was preparing a request to be filed for her protection in the Goa High Court this week and would ask for the case to be handed over to CBI.

Earlier this month, Samson D'souza, a bartender and Placido Carvalho, an alleged drugs dealer, were arrested on suspicion of drugging, raping and murdering the teenager.

Scarlett's Indian boyfriend Julio Lobo has criticised Mackeown for failing to protect her daughter.

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