Aires Rodrigues appears before Anjuna Police, submits detailed statement in alleged sexual harassment case

Panaji (Goa): Well-known social activist and advocate Aires Rodrigues appeared before Anjuna police station today around 12 noon.

The police had summoned him to appear before them at 10 am, which he could not do owing to the matters he had before the High court.

“Today morning at 9.45 am. I received a notice asking me to be present at 11 am.  I have two custody matters in the High Court and have sent a letter requesting the PI Anjuna to reschedule it,” said the message sent across by Rodrigues at 10.23 am.

Later around 11.30, he sent another message saying “as my matters before the high court have been adjourned, I will appear before the Anjuna police station today at 12 noon.”

The Anjuna police said they are looking at both sides of the story and the evidence put forth by both the accused and the complaint lady before taking a decision on arrest. Sources close to Aires Rodrigues said the lawyer has not yet applied for anticipatory bail and is confident that he will be able to prove his innocence in the matter before the Anjuna Police. The police are treading cautiously  as it is a sensitive matter and do not want to make an arrest in a hurry. Further, they want to make sure they have ample evidence against the alleged accused, before taking any further steps to avoid any embarrassment before the courts later on. As on now, the police are not going to arrest Aires Rodrigues without checking and verifying all the evidence before them. It is also possible that one or two more persons may be added to the accused persons list, revealed sources at Anjuna Police Station.

A source at Anjuna Police Station said, “Aires Rodrigues is a well-known advocate with contacts both in the ruling party as well as the opposition. He has deep roots in Goa and is not likely to abscond or run away. Hence, we are not in any hurry to arrest him, unless he refuses to co-operate with the police, turns hostile or tries to abscond.”

At around 4 pm, Aires tweeted:

Have today appeared before the Anjuna Police and given my detailed statement answering all the queries regarding the alleged sex scandal involving Fisheries Minister Vinod Paliencar.

I once again reiterate that I have not violated any law whatsoever

The investigation by the police will reveal the truth and expose the Vijai Sardesai financed Vasco NGO which in vain has tried to distort the truth.

Meanwhile, the Old Goa Police have booked two persons seen arguing with and attacking Adv Aires Rodrigues, as seen in the video which has gone viral, and two unknown accused under Section 452 (house trespass), 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation), 336 (endangering life and personal safety of others), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) read with 34 (common intentions).

Aires Rodrigues on Tuesday filed a complaint at the Anjuna Police Station against Swapnil Dhargalkar, Shreya Dhargalkar and two unknown persons for forming an unlawful assembly, criminally trespassing into his office, assaulting him after having threatened and abused him with dire consequences besides throwing black liquid at him. The complaint has been transferred to the Old Goa Police after it was filed as the incident occurred within its jurisdiction.

In his complaint, Adv Rodrigues has stated that on Monday morning at around 8.30 am the accused criminally trespassed and barged into his office at Ribandar and unlawfully restrained him and threatened him as to why he had taken up the issue of the alleged sex scandal involving Goa’s Fisheries Minister Vinod Paliencar. To this, Adv Rodrigues has stated that he cited public interest as he had bonafide reason to believe that Minister Paliencar misusing his position was sexually exploiting vulnerable women.

Rodrigues has further stated that the viral video footage of the incident clearly evidences the commission of the criminal acts and deeds by the accused.

Rodrigues has claimed that he has reason to believe that Fisheries Minister Paliencar was also a conspirator and mastermind in the attack on him as the minister had previously publicly threatened to unleash anti-social elements unto him at his office in Ribandar. In this connection, he has urged the police to secure the call details of Paliencar, his officer on special duty as well as TCP Minister and Goa Forward supremo Vijai Sardesai.

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