BY FLYNN REMEDIOS: From the over aggressive posturing and intimidating tactics of the Goa Crime Branch (CB). its boss Superintendent of Police (SP) Karthik Kashyap seems to be holding a grudge against social activist and lawyer Aires Rodrigues, given the more than necessary aggressive and intimidating stand taken by his department in pursuing the senior Goan lawyer on a daily basis in a case of alleged sexual harassment.
Kashyap while speaking to media persons today seemed visibly angry at Rodrigues. “He has given irrelevant reasons (not to appear in the case). If he fails to depose on Friday, it will treated that he is not cooperating with the investigation,” SP Kartik Kashyap said. Asked by the media if the case demands his arrest, the officer said “We will see if his arrest is required. It all depends on how well he cooperates with the investigating team.”
What is very surprising is the fact or instance when an accused who happens to be a senior lawyer alleges that the IO (investigating officer) of the rank of a PI (police inspector) could be biased against the accused due to certain past court matters, and requests that the matter be transferred to another officer, the SP finds this reason ‘irrelevant’.
Has the Crime Branch recorded the statement of senior Goa Forward leader Milton Marques who was named by Rodrigues in the matter? Besides attending the Crime Branch today (Friday) morning, Rodrigues had attended the Anjuna Police station and submitted a written statement to them earlier. Does the SP expect an accused to dance to his (or his officers) tunes? Don’t the accused have rights too? These questions give rise to the feeling that the Goa Crime Branch SP could be holding a personal grudge against the accused in this case. Or is the SP under pressure from some political quarters to nail and arrest Rodrigues at any cost?
Rodrigues appeared before the Crime Branch on Friday and told the concerned officers that he would make himself available on Monday.
Rodrigues had also met senior police officials as well as the acting DGP of the Goa police requesting that the case be transferred to another officer as he had appeared against the current IO from the CB in a disproportionate assets case. From the above movements of the accused, it is quite apparent that the accused is available to the police and is not absconding or making himself unavailable.
He had also moved the JMFC a day earlier seeking specific reliefs and to have the case transferred to another competent officer. The matter has been listed for hearing, after seeking the say of the various officials concerned on December 12. Since the matter is being heard by the JMFC, though no specific interim relief has been granted, the SP and the CB should not have over aggressively pursued the accused who also happens to be a senior lawyer and a local resident of Goa having deep roots in the State.
According to an FB post by Aires Rodrigues, he appeared before the Crime Branch today (Friday). His post reads:
Have this morning appeared before the Crime Branch at Ribandar in connection with the alleged sex scandal involving Goa’s Fisheries Minister Vinod Paliencar. Will now appear again on Monday 11th December at 11.30 am.
Aires said on his FB post that he would again appear on Monday, however, later on Friday afternoon he was sent another summons to appear before the Crime Branch on Saturday. This aggressive posturing on part of the CB compelled him to move the Sessions Court for anticipatory bail, Aires wrote at around 8 pm on Facebook:
North Goa Principal & District Sessions Judge has this evening issued notice to the Crime Branch directing them to remain present tomorrow morning at 9.30 am on a Anticipatory bail application filed today by me.
As the Crime Branch reneged on it’s word this morning allowing me to appear and depose on Monday the 12th at 11.30 am, and later this afternoon issued me a notice directing me to appear before the Crime Branch tommorow (sic) at 3pm, I was compelled to move for Anticipatory bail to uphold the rule of law.
India Scribes Tv had exposed how Rodrigues’ attackers were paid Rs 20,000/- by a rival camp to accost him in his office and throw black ink/color on him (Read Here). There definitely seems to be more than what meets the eye in this case and the Goa Crime Branch seems very anxious to silence the voice of Aires Rodrigues who has taken up several issues both social and political in the past.
Why have the culprits who barged into Rodrigues’ office at Ribandar and assaulted him not yet been arrested so far? Does the law given the alleged victim woman and her husband the license to assault the alleged accused?
Can Goa CB SP Karthik Kashyap answer these questions?
We are not batting for Rodrigues, but all we would like to say (and remind SP Karthik Kashyap) that the law must be equally aggressive for all the accused and not just one of them.