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Child raped in Goa, Russia warns India

Jan. 27 (PTI): A nine-year-old Russian girl was allegedly raped by a domestic tourist on a beach in north Goa, provoking a “deeply outraged” Russia to threaten to issue an advisory asking its citizens not to travel to the coastal state.

A Russian woman in a complaint with police in Pernem, 35km from Panaji, said her nine-year-old daughter was raped by an unidentified person on Arambol beach while she was playing in the sea between 5.30pm and 6pm yesterday.

The superintendent of police (north), Bosco George, said a case had been registered against the unidentified person. No arrests were made till Wednesday evening.

Sources said the incident occurred a day after the husband of the Russian woman left for Moscow. The woman was supposed to leave for Russia next week, they said.

The deputy superintendent of police, Sammy Tavares, said Pernem police had registered a rape case under the Indian Penal Code and the Goa Children’s Act.

According to the complaint, two persons struck up a conversation with the mother on the beach. “While one person continued chatting with her, the other went into sea where the minor was playing and raped her,” police inspector Uttam Raut Desai said. A medical examination of the girl has confirmed rape, he said.

The Russian embassy in New Delhi demanded “strict and efficient” measures immediately to ensure the safety of Russian citizens. “Otherwise, we will have no other option but to recommend Russian tourists to refrain from visiting Goa,” the statement added.

Over 40,000 Russians visit Goa each year.

The child assault comes after last month’s rape of a 25-year-old Russian girl, allegedly by local politician John Fernandes. In another incident on December 26, two Russian girls had to hide in a forest for almost four hours after their taxi driver tried to assault them.

The Russian statement made a reference to the earlier case and formally expressed dissatisfaction with the progress in the investigation.

“Last December, a 25-year-old Russian woman was criminally assaulted and raped. Investigation of that case is being conducted inefficiently. Earlier, the police had registered several other cases of assaults and abuses of Russian tourists in Goa.

“Increased criminal activities in the state, which has become popular among Russian tourists, cause damage to its reputation. We expect the Indian authorities to immediately take strict and efficient measures to ensure the safety of Russian citizens,” the embassy said in the statement.

Tourism minister Kumari Selja demanded immediate action by the Goa government.

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