Goa politician John Fernandes, accused of raping a Russian girl on Colva Beach on December 1, on Wednesday surrendered before the Crime Branch in Panaji, almost a month after he went missing. Deputy Superintendent of Police Chandrakant Salgaoncar told reporters that John has been placed under arrest and he will be questioned to get further evidence in the case.
The accused will be charged with destroying evidence as he had submitted his false clothes to the investigating agency earlier, the officer said. John, a South Goa-based politician, who unsuccessfully fought the 2007 assembly elections on a Save Goa Front Party ticket, allegedly raped the girl after spiking her drinks at Colva beach.
Salgaoncar said the accused was absconding since the time the Panaji bench of Bombay high court rejected the anticipatory bail granted to him by the district and sessions court.
The accused also approached the Supreme Court with the anticipatory bail plea but it was dismissed by the apex court. According to the police, the accused walked into the Crime Branch's office at Dona Paula with his lawyer at 2 pm today.
"He was immediately placed under arrest as we were looking for him for his custodial interrogation," he said.
The crime branch will also initiate an inquiry into John's movements since he went missing. "If some people have helped him to hide, we will initiate action against them too for harbouring a criminal," the DSP said.
The police had issued look out circulars after John went missing and he was declared an absconder by Judicial Magistrate First Class, Margao.
The Russian girl had also alleged that the politician's aides offered her money to withdraw the case against him. The crime branch, however, has not received any written complaint from the victim in this regard.