Education minister Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate’s wife and Taleigao sarpanch Jennifer Monserrate deposed before a judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) judge in Panaji on Friday, saying that she was assaulted by the police at the Panaji police station after her arrest on February 19, 2008.
In her deposition before the judge Shabnam Sheikh, Jennifer said that at 10.45pm on February 19 she went to the Panaji police station to inquire why her son Amit was arrested.
She said that while she was talking to police inspector Sudesh Naik, she was arrested.
Jennifer added that soon after her arrest, two lady constables, one attached to Panaji police station and another with the Goa Reserve Police (GRP), beat her up physically and also with sticks. She said that the male police did nothing to stop them. She was then shifted to the Panaji police lock-up.
The judge was inquiring about the allegations made before the JMFC on February 20, 2008, where Jennifer’s counsel Arun Bras D’Sa said that she was beaten up in custody.
Following the claims, she was made to undergo a medical exam at the forensic department at the Goa Medical College in Bambolim. During the examination, she was found to have sustained injuries and was admitted to the hospital for a day.
Jennifer and Babush were arrested after they and 36 of their supporters attacked the Panaji police station on February 19, 2008, evening. The group led a morcha to the police station to condemn an attack on one of Babush’s Taleigao supporters. Some of the leaders present gave inflammatory speeches, which caused the mob to turn violent and riot outside the police station.
Around 32 policemen were injured and two-wheelers parked outside the police station were torched by the unruly mob.
The accused face charges of rioting, obstructing public servants from performing their duty, creating mischief by causing damage to public property and use of fire and explosives.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) charge sheeted Babush, his wife and the 36 supporters and the Panaji police registered FIRs against more than 500 persons.