Viral video with clues to murder gets Goa police, rights panel attention

Panaji, Feb 21 (IANS) A video, purportedly spilling the beans on an alleged murder of a local youth in 2006, which went viral on Monday on social media, has commanded the interest of the Goa Human Rights Commission and the state police on Tuesday.

The Commission on Tuesday issued notices to state Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, after a city-based lawyer-activist Aires Rodrigues in a complaint attached along with the video, raised questions about the police probe into the 2006 case, which allegedly implicates a local BJP leader.

The 3.17-minute video contains footage of a Kolhapur-based person Pandurang Adharkar, who claims he was employed as a driver in 2016 by BJP’s candidate from Poriem assembly constituency, Vishwajit K. Rane, and that he was witness to the latter shooting one Shanu Gaonkar at a bar in North Goa’s Sattari sub-district.

In the video, Adharkar alleges that the alleged murder of Gaonkar was a revenge act, in response to the murder of Rane’s brother Prithviraj in 2005, in which Gaonkar was allegedly involved.

“The blatant acts of commission and omission by the state government in failing to nab the real culprit who is hand in glove with the police, not only makes a mockery of justice, but is a clear human rights violation against the deceased and his family members by not allowing the cause of his death to be probed honestly and in not giving the deceased and the family rightful dignity guaranteed as a human right,” Rodrigues said in his petition to the Commission.

Rane could not be contacted for comments despite calls made to his phone as well as queries sent to him by SMS.

Speaking to reporters, Superintendent of Police North Goa Karthik Kashyap said that a probe had been started into the Shanu Gaonkar case, after the video surfaced on Monday.

“All aspects are being verified. We are also interrogating people concerned with the case as part of our enquiry,” Kashyap said.