GoaChronicle.com spoke exclusively with the father of the seven-year old girl who raped inside toilet of the Deepvihar School in Mormugao. He expresses his disappointment in the police and government machinery that have failed his family in nabbing the culprit as the incident happened over a month and also alleges that the system could be deliberately harboring the rapist due to political pressure….GC: You decided to make a video of your daughter’s testimony of the crime; what led you take such a step when the police are investigating the case?
GF: The incident happened on January 14, we have today crossed over a month; so far we have not seen any urgency from the police to nab the culprit. On the contrary the prime suspect to harboring and protecting the rapist appears to be the head-mistress on whose orders vital evidence were destroyed, even before the police were called to at the scene of the crime. But instead of the booking the head-mistress under the destruction of evidence case, the police have booked her under negligence for which she got bail. Therefore, I decided to get a record of my daughter’s own testimony under an environment of comfort and after a few days when she was recuperating from the trauma, we started to ask her about the incident and more details started to come out.
GC: So what exactly does the girl reveal in the video, a copy of which we have learnt has also been given to the Crime Branch and Children’s Court?
GF: We received images of probable suspects from our well-wishers, who have been helping us get justice. I also learnt from the Chief Minister when we meet him on two occasions that he too has a set of the same images of the rapist. When we showed the girl the photograph, she recognized the face and confirmed that the boy in the photograph resembles the rapist. Incidentally, she told us his name was Monty as he had revealed this to her on the three occasions he met her before. We also learnt from one of the teachers in school, that on the day of the incident, the school had claimed that an unknown man was caught by the staff teacher and when questioned, he said he was searching for his friend Monty. After some days, we learnt that Monty is also the nephew of the head-mistress. So our doubt only got stronger. Incidentally, we also showed my daughter another photograph this time of the head-mistress son and again she identified the boy, but she is clear that the head-mistress son had accompanied the rapist Monty on January 10 in school and he was carrying a guitar.
GC: Does your daughter speak about the role of the head-mistress and teachers after the incident?
GF: Yes, she reveals that it was Lavina teacher who had first noticed her crying and in pain. She then took her to the head-mistress. After which her class teacher Sheetal had washed and cleaned her up, while Suzie teacher washed her clothes and undergarments. Incidentally, her class teacher also told her not to tell anybody about the incident or the person who committed the crime.
GC: You have visited the Chief Minister two times till now, how were your interactions with him?
GF: If you want me to be honest and meaning no disrespect to the Chief Minister, my family is disappointed with the Chief Minister. I know my child maybe just one of the many children in Goa and someone like the Chief Minister would have more important matters to look after, but the least he could have done was to meet with my family and daughter, it would have at least showed us that he cared and we were not just mere voters. My daughter is seven-years old and she has been raped in an environment where we have expected her to be safe. And it feels that no one in the government machinery cares from what we are going through. Our own MLA also expected us to come and visit them to bring our grievance and fight for justice to them.
GC: People have been approaching you directly and indirectly with compensation to keep quiet on the matter, what is your stand on this?
GF: When the MPT person came to my house with a demand draft of Rs 5, 00,000, I would have slapped him, but, that is not the way in which my family has been brought up. You think that my daughter’s ordeal can be bought with money. People have been coming to me and telling me to take the money, it will help in getting counseling for your daughter or for her future like marriage etc. Before this incident, as a father was that not my responsibility to take care of the welfare of my child. Just by offering money, you want me to turn a blind-eye to the person who has raped her and the people who are trying to protect him. On the day when the MPT secretary met with me, I called the Investigating Officer of the Crime Branch telling her about the bribe and to arrest him. So why did the Crime Branch, fail to do it. Today, the same man is transferred.
GC: Is it true post your meeting with the CM and the declaration about the possession of a video, Crime Branch questioned the people who accompanied you to that meeting?
GF: Yes we meet the CM on February 17 and shared with him that we had made a video of the girl’s testimony. Strangely, after that on the following February 18, our close friends and supporters who attended the meeting and also help us make to video, were called for questioning and they were being grilled on why they made the video and from where they got photographs of the rapist; I found that strange and an indirect pressure to clamp down on them. Post that, these friends of mine have decided to lend support to me in spirit, but now I have to be going to the court alone, since they are afraid and I don’t blame. Some were not even allowed to have food, but I learnt that the head-mistress and family on questioning or rather group discussion were being treated well.
GC: You claimed that the CM said that he also did have a set photograph of the rapist, did the police ever show your family the photographs of the alleged rapist?
GF: Yes the CM did say that. But I am not sure whether he shared it with the Crime Branch. However, I learnt through my police sources that the Crime Branch also had some photographs of the rapist, but they never should it to our family. And it is precisely this behavior that is leading us to believe that police is not working in the interest of getting justice to my child but to protect the rapist. Like my lawyer had stated in court, the police must bring the head-mistress son and nephew for questioning, we will find the truth in there.
GC: You have taken the issue to court? What do you expect to be the outcome?
GF: I had no option but to take the matter to court. I do not see the police working in the interest of getting justice for my daughter. I believe in the judiciary and that’s why I approached it. And whatever be the outcome and attempts to subvert the truth and the rapist responsible for the act of cruelty on my daughter, I will continue to fight till I get justice.