PANAJI: Three persons were detained by the police on Tuesday in connection with the assault on Aires Rodrigues, a lawyer and social activist, and Prajal Sakhardande, a college teacher, at a restaurant here on Monday night. According to the police, a group of seven persons, wearing masks and wielding weapons, attacked Mr. Rodrigues and chopped off his two fingers.
Mr. Rodrigues is the spokesman of Utt Goenkara, a socio-political organisation, and the lawyer representing a German national who had accused the son of Education Minister Atanasio Monserrate of sexually harassing her minor daughter. Mr. Sakhardande is a member of Goa Heritage Action Group and an activist of Utt Goenkara. The attack comes in the wake of Mr. Rodrigue’s role in espousing the case of the girl. The German national filed a complaint with the police recently alleging sexual assault on her daughter by Rohit Monserrate, elder son of Mr. Monserrate. Various organisation and the have condemned the attack.
Meanwhile, Mr. Monserrate has expressed shock over the attack on Mr. Rodrigues and Mr. Sakhardande and condemned the same. In a statement, a copy of which was released to the press on Tuesday, he demanded a thorough police investigation into the incident. Mr. Monserrate said, “I am equally dismayed that an attempt is made to create an impression in the minds of people that this assault is to silence Mr. Rodrigues from helping the German lady who is alleged to have made certain allegations against my son.”