In a major breakthrough, the Mapusa police, with assistance from New Delhi police, Friday arrested swimming coach Surajit Ganguly, who has been accused of raping a 15-year-old female swimmer who was training under his supervision, in New Delhi.
The arrest was made within 24 hours of the Mapusa police registering a First Information Report (FIR) against the accused under Section 451 (trespass), Section 354 (molestation), Section 376 (rape) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 8 of the Goa Children’s Act and Sections 6 and 8 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Police said that the accused was travelling to different cities in order to avoid arrest.
Following registration of the offence, three teams of Goa Police were constituted under the supervision of North Goa Superintendent of Police Utkrisht Prasoon, SDPO Mapusa Gajanand Prabhudessai and police inspector Kapil Nayak. The teams were sent to New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bhopal to nab the accused, who became untraceable after the rape incident came to light.
After making efforts to nab the accused, who had been travelling from September 4 onwards after checking out of a hotel in Bhopal where he was attending a national swimming event, the police managed to arrest him in the national capital.
Prasoon said, “With use of technical surveillance and local intelligence, the movement of the accused was traced to New Delhi at Kashmere gate area from where he may have been trying to travel further.” “In coordination with the local police staff of New Delhi, the accused was apprehended at Kashmere Gate. We will be taking remand of the accused from Delhi court tomorrow (Saturday),” said Prasoon.
In this connection, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights member R G Anand has written a letter to Goa Police asking them to conduct an inquiry and take action in the matter.
On Thursday, the Mapusa police had registered an offence against the accused after a two-page complaint copy, written in Bengali language and filed by the victim’s father, was emailed to Mapusa police by the Rishra police station in Hoogly district of West Bengal.
The incident came to light on Wednesday after the victim posted a video, shot by her, on social media and wrote about her ordeal.
Later, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiu took cognisance of the incident and assured to take strict action through the Sports Authority of India following which the Goa Swimming Association terminated the services of the rape-accused swimming coach with immediate effect.
Police said that the victim had narrated her ordeal to her parents. However, they did not believe her. Later, the brave girl had to record a video to prove to her parents. The family subsequently moved to their native place in West Bengal and approached the local police there and filed a complaint against the accused.
Police said that the incident occurred between March 14 and August 28 wherein the accused molested the victim, who was undergoing training under his supervision. The accused was known to the victim, as he used to train her at her native place in West Bengal.
“Our focus was on first arresting the accused, who was on the run. Following the arrest, we will now start recording of statements,” said Prabhudessai.