British woman found dead in Goa; one held

British woman found dead in Goa; one held

British woman found dead in Goa; one held

A 28-year-old British woman tourist was found dead near a beach in south Goa, following which a man was arrested today for his alleged role in the crime.

The disrobed body of the woman, who had a British passport, was found yesterday at an isolated spot near a beach in south Goa's Devbag village, located about 80 km from here, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Canacona, Sammy Tavares said.

He said the woman had arrived in Goa on February 23 this year and since then she was holidaying in south Goa. "Hours before her corpse was found, she was seen playing Holi with locals in Canacona," the officer said.

The woman's face was smashed with a blunt object. It is a case of murder, Tavares said. The body has been sent to the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) to ascertain the exact cause of the death.

Vikas Bhagat, a history-sheeter from Canacona village, located near Devbag, was arrested today in this connection, the official said. "Bhagat was arrested by police within 24 hours of the woman's body being found at an isolated spot in Devbag village, located between the beaches of Canacona and Agonda," Tavares said.

"Bhagat was earlier arrested several times in connection with cases of theft and other petty offences," he said.

Meanwhile, police have requested the Dean of GMCH to form a panel of doctors to conduct the postmortem of the British woman. They are waiting for the postmortem report to ascertain if she was raped before being killed.

"Only after it is medically proved that she was raped, we will add the (relevant) sections," Tavares said. "Prima facie it looks like a case of rape," he said.

Meanwhile, police produced Bhagat before a local court, which remanded him to seven-day judicial custody. "We are yet to ascertain the motive behind the murder," they said.

The incident has brought back memories of British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling's death in the coastal state. The 15-year-old's bruised, semi-nude corpse was found on Goa's famous Anjuna beach in February 2008.

Two men were arrested in connection with the case, but they were acquitted by Goa Children's Court last year.

The CBI, which investigated the case, had moved the Bombay High Court in February this year challenging the verdict.

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