The shocking Canacona rape and murder case of a 25-year-old foreigner tourist Danielle McLaughlin which came to light on Tuesday morning with the arrest of the suspect Vikat Bhagat has been cracked by Goa Police within just 24 hours time. According to the sources, the suspect, (now accused) has confessed to the crime in the police interrogation. The accused told the police that he killed the victim after raping to silence her and later he disfigured her face with the broken beer bottle to conceal her identity.
This is perhaps one of the most sensational and brutal murder cases that have taken place in the state of Goa. The body of the victim Danielle McLaughlin an Irish national having the British Visa was found near famous Devbag Beach in Canacona situated in South Goa. When the farmer first saw the body (who informed the police) it was fully naked and lying in the pool of blood. The face of the victim was also been disfigured by the accused with the help of broken beer bottle, said the sources.
The 25-year-old Danielle McLaughlin lived in Liverpool before she came down to India for a short vacation. before going to south Goa at Palolem beach she was staying with her friends at Arambol in North Goa and the reason behind her traveling to Canacona was the celebration of Holi festival at Palolem beach, said the sources.
Ms. Andrea Brannigan the mother of a victim Danielle McLaughlin told the Daily Mail that her daughter would be ‘sadly missed’ as 200 mourners attended a vigil in her honor on Wednesday. According to the sources, the Victim Ms. McLaughlin had arrived in Goa on February 23 and she was staying in the North Goa at Arambol Beach before coming down to Canacona on the 13th March to celebrate the Holi at Palolem beach. On Monday she celebrated the Holi festival at nearby Palolem beach, popular with Western tourists and the next morning her body was found lying in the pool of blood near Devbag beach around 4 km from Palolem beach.
Her body was found lying in the field near Devbag beach in fully naked condition and looking at that it could be made out that she was brutally murdered with extensive injuries on her face and head, said the sources. Goa police under the supervision of Deputy Superintendent of Police Samy Tavares took the accused Vikat Bhagat in the custody after getting the lead of him from the reliable sources. Police have also checked the CCTV footages of the shacks near Palolem beach to confirm the connection of accused with the victim. According to the police sources, the victim was seen with accused at several places in Canacona and she was last seen with accused Bhagat at 9.30 pm when they together went out of the shack in Canacona and next day her body was found.
After the arrest and following the police interrogation the accused confessed to his crime and told the police that he killed the victim after sexually abusing her to silence her. Based on the output given by the Superintendent of Police Uttam Raut Dessai, from Sanguem Police Station, “We received information from our sources that there was a boy named Vikas Bhagat, 23, a rowdy and a boy known to police in Goa was spotted with her in the afternoon and evening. He was then brought in and interrogated. He has today confessed to sexually assaulting the victim and killing her with a beer bottle.”
The police further said that, although Vikat has confessed to the crime but he is now trying to involve the others into it. “We do not believe that there is an involvement of any more people in this crime,” said SP Raut Desai adding that, “We are investigating the matter from all the angles and will make sure that nothing will escape.” According to Mr. Raut Desai, “The accused removed the clothes of the victim so nobody can recognize her and in order to hide her identity accused tried to disfigure her face with the help of broken beer bottle,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police waiting for the permissions from the British Embassy to go ahead with the post mortem of the deceased. According to the Canacona police, the accused is a history-sheeter and he was convicted in the case of theft in the year 2014. “The accused Bhagat was arrested in March 2014 for targeting foreigners in a string of burglaries in the area. One British holidaymaker revealed a thief had sneaked into their holiday villa through a balcony and taken a laptop, two mobile phones and a portable hard drive worth around £1,620,” said the police sources.
Once the post-mortem is done more details will get surfaced in this case. Although Victim has confessed the crime but he is also trying to involve more people, the post-mortem report will help in establishing if the victim was sexually abused by more than one person. People say that Goa is not safe for the tourists but it is not true. It os not the duty of police alone to ensure the safety of the tourists in Goa but the travelers themselves have to make sure that they are getting into the right company and not going out alone in the night with the friends they do not know properly. The safety measures must be taken by the person itself since the police always come in the picture after the crime is committed.