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Five arrested for assault on German woman's counsel in Goa

National, Sat, 18 Oct 2008 IANS

Panaji, Oct 18 (IANS) Five people have been arrested from the hill station of Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra for Monday's assault on Aires Rodrigues, the counsel of German researcher Fadela Fuchs who has accused Education Minister Atanasio Monserrate's son Rohit of raping her 14-year-old daughter, police said Saturday.


The combined team of Goa and Maharashtra police arrested Jenito Godinho, Santosh Shinde, Sandeep Pujari, Michael Jhonson Chakkal and Anison Nunes from a resort in Mahabaleshwar Friday.



A police official said the accused, who have been brought to Goa, will be produced before a magistrate later Saturday.



The arrest of the five men has taken the number of those detained for involvement in the case to eight.



Three other people were held the day after the assault. They were picked up from the constituency of the education minister, who had accused the police of harassing people from his ward.



Rodrigues, a high court lawyer and rights activist, was assaulted by a group of masked men Monday night while having dinner with a colleague at a restaurant in Panaji. He lost two fingers in the attack.



'The education minister is behind the attack on me. On the day I was attacked I was warned by several of Monserrate's friends against taking up Fadela's complaint,' Aires had told reporters.



Fuchs, whose criminal complaint was registered Tuesday after a 12-day delay, had claimed that 21-year-old Rohit had caused mental and physical agony to her daughter by raping her and sending lewd SMSes.



On Tuesday, Rohit was booked under Sections 354, 376, 293 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). However, he has still not been arrested. The minister has been accused of abetting the crime since the mobile phone from which Rohit sent the messages belonged to him.


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