Panaji: A day after former minister Atanasio Monserratte was arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl after "buying" her from her mother for Rs 50 lakh, the Goa Police Crime Branch has launched a search for another woman who is accused of being involved in human trafficking. The 16-year-old girl's mother was arrested on Thursday on the charge of human trafficking.
"We have launched search to arrest the third accused, Rosy Ferros. She is wanted in connection with the offence of human trafficking," Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) Karthik Kashyap told on Friday.
Monserratte, an expelled Congress MLA, appeared before the crime branch officials at 3.10 pm on Thursday, and was placed under arrest at 8.30 pm.
He has been booked under IPC sections 376 (rape), 328 (poisoning), 342 (wrongful confinement), 370 (A) (trafficking), the provisions of Goa Children Act and the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act. The girl's mother is accused of "selling" the victim to the legislator for Rs 50 lakh.
During police investigation, the role of the third woman, who is absconding, also came to light. Meanwhile, Monserratte was taken for a medical examination to Goa Medical College at around midnight.
Police sources said that the MLA and the girl's mother were kept in different lock-ups in the Crime Branch headquarters located at Ribander, near here. Monserratte's wife Jeniffer, who is an MLA from Taleigao constituency, met him in the lock up at night.
The police would seek his remand in a court on Friday. A senior police official on Thursday said that police had examined ten witnesses and also recorded the girl's statement before a magistrate.
According to the girl's complaint, her mother and another woman hatched a conspiracy and sold her for Rs 50 lakh to Monserratte in March this year for sexual exploitation.
"Monserratte kept her in confinement, administered some stupefying substance and had sexual intercourse with her several times without her consent," it alleged. However, the legislator denied the allegations.
"I have not done anything wrong. The complaint is totally false and bogus. This is just to frame me," he had told reporters on Thursday before entering the Crime Branch office....