Goa police on Thursday arrested three taxi drivers in connection with the alleged assault on nine Ukrainian tourists late on Wednesday night at Candolim. Police have identified the accused men as Agnelo D’Souza, Rohit Nagvenkar and Suresh Naik.
Ohera Fedoruk, one of the victims alleged that she and her friends were viciously assaulted with sticks and stones near a popular supermarket at Candolim.
In her written complaint to Calangute police, Fedoruk said that while they were walking by the road side, a tourist taxi veered close to them and hurled abuses at them.
There was a verbal dispute between the foreign tourists and the taxi driver, who was joined by other group of drivers and overpowered the tourists group.
While Fedoruk was assaulted with a stone on her head, the taxi drivers assaulted her friends Serhiy Kvachuk with a brick on his head and stabbed Rushan with a knife. The tourists were rushed to Goa Medical College and Hospital at Bamboli.
The medical report stated that they have sustained ‘grievous head injuries’.
Besides a two-hour delay in arriving at the scene of crime, Calangute police have also been accused of registering a case only 24 hours after the incident occurred.
North Goa Superintendent of Police Arvind Gawas, when contacted, said that they could register a case only after one of the Ukrainian women filed complaint.
“We cannot do anything until a complaint is formally filed. We registered the case soon after Fedoruk gave her statement and filed a formal police complaint,” he said.
Police have charged the accused men under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 504 (provoking breach of peace), 323 (causing hurt) and 326 (causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Ukrainian tourists had arrived in Goa on March 3 and are to leave the country on March 15.