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Irish woman was raped in Goa, confirms postmortem report

Margao/Canacona: Postmortem reports have confirmed that Irish national Danielle McLaughlin, 28, was raped and later done to death by strangulation. The autopsy, which was conducted at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim, on Thursday, has confirmed police suspicions.Following this, murder accused Vikat Bhagat, who was arrested by the Canacona police on Wednesday, has now been booked under additional charges of rape, destruction of evidence and causing hurt under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He has been remanded in seven days police custody by a local court.Police said that the crime was committed by one person, and that it was not a gangrape. Four of Bhagat’s friends were arrested under Section 41 of IPC and later released.
“The woman resisted Bhagat’s attempts to rape her. We have found injury marks in his groin area and thighs,” a police source said. However, he overpowered her, and in a futile bid to evade the law, he killed her. Further, in an attempt to prevent the body from being identified, he disfigured the face by stabbing it with broken beer bottles, shards of which were found at the place from where the body was recovered. Six injuries have been observed on her head and face in the postmortem report.The postmortem was conducted by a two-member panel of doctors headed by Dr Madhu Ghodkirekar.Further investigations into the case are under way.
McLaughlin’s body was discovered at an isolated spot at Devbag, Canacona, on Tuesday morning. Police investigations into the case led to the arrest of Bhagat, who is a history-sheeter involved in various offences involving foreigners. Bhagat was last seen with McLaughlin at a shack, which has been confirmed by CCTV footage obtained by police.Bhagat told police that he first met McLaughlin during her visit to Goa last year.Police sources said that embassy officials are likely to arrive in the state later this week to facilitate modalities concerning transportation of the body. [TOI]

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