Wednesday, March 12, 2008


When the Indian police conducts an investigation under the glare of the media, it is only a matter of time before the cracks and the corruption are laid bare. To that extent, their probe into the rape and murder of a 15-year old British tourist is following a familiar script. The police's ineptitude and insensitivity were on full display when Scarlett Keeling’s dead body turned up on a beach in Goa. It was quickly dismissed as a case of drowning. Only when Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown insisted on a second autopsy did the Goa police suddenly regain their vision to see that her body was actually covered all over with nearly 50 cuts and bruises. And incidentally, there was not enough salt water in her lungs either to corroborate the drowning story.

In the sordid history of failures of the Indian police, this is only the latest chapter.

But throwing an element of lunacy into the bungled probe is the Chief Minister of Goa Digamber Kamat. He wants to investigate the teenager’s mother for negligence!

In the days leading up to her murder, Scarlett was not with her family and was staying with 25-year old tour guide, Julio Lobo. The story gets a little strange here because Scarlett was allegedly in a sexual relationship with this man whom her mother describes as “very caring” as an uncle would be. You could argue that it was foolish of her mother to leave her teenage daughter alone but it was certainly not illegal if she thought the person she was leaving her with was responsible! In fact, this notion of charging the mother for negligence can be turned on its head because assuming Julio Lobo had had sex with Scarlett Keeling it would still be rape under Indian law because it involved a minor. Then Samson D'Souza, the current suspect under police custody could either be the wrong guy as the Keeling family alleges or is simply one of the suspects.

Someone needs to point that out to Digamber Kamat.

I also think this is typical of the sexist insinuations that fly in rape investigations. By wanting to investigate the mother, the Chief Minister is placing the onus on the victim’s family to prove that the girl wasn’t asking to be raped, insinuating, in other words, that it was but natural that she was raped because she was alone.

Shame on you Digamber Kamat.

If Fiona MacKeown intends to fight to the finish and teach Kamat and the police a few lessons she will have the support of millions of Indian women like me.


Sathej said...

It is pathetic the way the case is being handled. So inept. Highly irresponsible statements being made. Well, we are all with the grieving mother and family of the victim. Of course, our support is always there but then the people involved in handling the case ought to display a better sense of maturity and stop showing irritating naivety and irresponsibility and be a bit more professional-but can we expect this from our people??

Alaphia Zoyab said...

They just need to do their job. Simple.

matcher said...


Would you answer this one single question for the rest of us.
Did the 15-year old's drug over-dose made her crave for more of sexual lust which prompted this man to commit the worse.

Tourism and Sight seeing in Goa has become secondary amidst half of the foreign tourists.It is for drugs,sex & for all kinds of wild pleasures most of the foreigners stroll the vast span of Goa beaches.

Who is to blamed for this disaster.The Government or the citizens or the Tourist Authority who are lured in by the dollars that flow freely.

Alaphia Zoyab said...

The answer to your first question -did the girl's drug OD make her crave for sex. Perhaps
Did it prompt this man to commit the worst? Perhaps.

I don't really know.

But how does that have anything to do with the fact that the police are corrupt and failed miserably yet again.

Your observation about Goa being the draw for the wild set is partly true but your're making a sweeping generalisation by saying thats all foreigners (and Indians) go there for.

And who is to blame? I guess a lot of people but the government to a major extent.