Romanian woman alleges Goa Police apathy

An unidentified man had tried to rape her on a beach near here in March. Four months later, the attacker is still at large.

Panaji: An unidentified man had tried to rape her on a beach near here in March. Four months later, with the attacker still at large and the Goa Police seeming apathetic, the Romanian woman says she has no choice but to have the case closed.

"I`ve also tried to give it a thought and see if I should pursue the incident further. Finally, I decided to let it go and get closure on this," Anita (who only wanted to use one name) said.

In March, while she was strolling alone on the Cavelossim beach, 40 km from here, a man tried to rape her. But he fled after seeing a woman from the area walking her dogs on the beach.

"I went to police station, but met with indifference. They said it wasn`t a big deal, because, after all, I hadn`t been raped, right," Anita said.

"I spent over six hours there, waiting for them to write an FIR (first information report). They asked me several times whether they wanted me to report the attack."

Shocked by the police apathy, Anita, a public relations professional from Bangalore, told her story to a national TV channel and also as a citizen journalist. But once again, to no avail.

"I even got the man`s sketch done on my own. But you see, it`s like this. The person who attacked me roams free in Goa and police do nothing to catch him," she said.

"The attack left me emotionally and physically shaken. A woman who goes through attempted rape undergoes the same trauma as a rape victim. This is something the police and society do not understand," she said.

"I can tell you that this incident has not made me pack my bags and return to Europe; nor has it irreparably damaged my opinion of India. I have also met very good people here and have had wonderful experiences so far," she said.

Officials at the Colva police station, where Anita lodged her FIR, refused to come on record to speak about the case`s progress.

"All we can say is that we are still trying to trace the culprit. Saying anything more can disturb the investigation," said a police officer, who did not want to be named.

Body crimes against women on Goa`s beaches over the last few years have cast a shadow on the state`s popularity as a tourist destination, which attracts more than 2.5 million visitors annually. Several incidents, including rape and murder have been reported, but shoddy police probes into these incidents have tarnished the image of the state.