Panaji | Goa police today arrested former state Education minister and expelled Congress MLA Atanasio Monserratte for allegedly raping a minor girl after ‘buying’ her from her mother for Rs 50 lakh.
Monserratte has been placed under arrest. We will be soon moving the court to seek his remand as we need his custodial interrogation, Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) Karthik Kashyap told.
The girl’s mother too was arrested on the charge of human trafficking, he said, adding that another woman, wanted in the case, was absconding. Monserratte appeared before the crime branch officials at 3.10 pm today, and was placed under arrest at 8.30 pm. He has been booked under IPC section 376 (rape), 328 (poisoning), 342 (wrongful confinement, 370 (A) (trafficking) and the provisions of Goa Children Act and the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act.
A senior police official said that police had examined ten witnesses and also recorded the girl’s statement before a magistrate. According to the 16-year-old girl’s complaint, her mother and another woman hatched a conspiracy and sold her for Rs 50 lakh to Monserratte in March this year for sexual exploitation.
Monserratte kept her in confinement, administered some stupefying substance and had sexual intercourse with her several times without her consent, it says. Monserratte, who was out of Goa yesterday when the FIR was registered at the Women Police Station, today returned and drove to Ribander office of Crime Branch, accompanied by his wife Jeniffer and a few supporters.
Police had issued a summons to him, asking him to remain present before Investigating Officer Sudiksha Naik. I have not done anything wrong. The complaint is totally false and bogus. This is just to frame me, he told reporters before entering the Crime Branch office.
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