Goa police in quandary over death of accused

Panaji: The probe by Goa Police into the rape of a Russian minor last year has hit a roadblock amid reports that the prime accused died at his native village in Uttar Pradesh, police said today.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Sammy Tavares, however, clarified there was no formal information about death of the 20-year-old Aman Bharadwaj who hails from Uttar Pradesh. Aman was being tried in Panji Bench of the Bombay High Court for allegedly raping the nine-year-old Russian girl on January 26, 2010 at Arambol beach here.

According to media reports, quoting Uttar Pradesh police, Aman died soon after Diwali at his village Kasaila under Nagar Police station jurisdiction. While Uttar Pradesh police claimed that Aman killed himself, his family members stated that he died of jaundice.

Tavares said Goa police were yet to receive any formal communication from their Uttar Pradesh counterparts though reports about his death were received by the local police station in Goa, which had investigated the case.

Aman, along with his friend Anil Raghuwanshi, had been acquitted by Goa Children`s Court after a prolonged trial in this case. The state government, however, appealed against the acquittal in Panji bench of the Bombay high court. The high court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Aman who was supposed to be presented before the court tomorrow.

Superintendent of Police (North) Arvind Gawas said the police will verify whether Aman is really died in Uttar Pradesh. "If he is dead than we will submit death certificate before the court," he said, adding, "it has to be decided by the court whether to proceed with the case or dismiss it.