Russian girl remains silent even after a year in jail

The young Russian tourist who retreated into a world of silence 11 months ago refuses to break the barrier even after her release on July 16. Violetta’s mother who will accompany her daughter back to Moscow travelled to Goa twice, but has had little success in coaxing her daughter to speak again.

Counsel for the Russian Consulate Vikram Varma says Violetta, 26, refused to talk the moment she was arrested. “We tried everything. We brought in two interpreters to speak to her, but it didn’t work. In January, we asked her mother to come down, but that too had no effect,” Varma told Deccan Herald.

The Russian tourist refused to make a statement or plead guilty before the courts and was convicted for an year. Her sentence could have been far less had she co-operated, say lawyers. The court referred her to the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour for treatment, but the effort produced no result.Sources said that the young woman’s ordeal was most likely linked to her brush with Goa’s drug underworld. Some of them have tried to make contact with her even when she was in jail.

Murky circumstances

Violetta travelled to Goa twice in 2007. She was picked up by the Anjuna police on August 4, 2008 after an anonymous tip-off about her expired visa. The caller told the cops specifically where they could find her. The Russian woman had no passport or valid documents on her the day the police made the arrest. Her passport turned up mysteriously under a flowerpot in the balcony of her hotel three days after her arrest.

Violetta’s mother said her daughter, an artist, was a bubbly and friendly young woman before her trip to Goa. The family hopes medical care in Russia will help her reclaim her will to speak. A 13-year-old in the UK who had been diagnosed with selective mutism surprised the world in 2007 when he broke his vow of silence. Ben Grocock had not spoken for 10 years.

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