BY AUGUSTO RODRIGUES
While everyone in Goa is happy that the lady tourist from Netherlands was rescued from her attacker, locals in Dandosoddo in Mandrem where the incident happened are quite surprised at the manner the event is being penned.
Worse, as the victim and her rescuer are recovering, locals in Mandrem believe the loose knots are too many, to give credence to the manner in which the crime is being portrayed.
"The guest house was run by a foreigner and we came to know of the incident only when we were informed the next morning. We did not hear any noise at night," is the refrain from all neighbours around the vicinity of the guest house.
“The place was called Wing Wang. There was a small board saying that but it has now been removed. Someone working has left the place a while ago,” one neighbour told Gomantak Times digital on condition of confidentiality.
The name on one of the buildings in the compound where the incident took place is Raj Villa. The gate was closed and a small board indicated a reception at the side of which – behind a bamboo wall – was what looked like a restaurant.
“With foreign guests leaving, many rooms are now available in the village. Ours is a quiet place but none of us heard anything at night, and the stories that are appearing only make us wonder about the veracity of the whole story,” claims another neighbour.
“The first finger of suspicion points to why the lady went to sleep with her door open. Security starts with oneself and based on what is circulating in social media, it does not appear the lady had locked her room. I don’t know whether the accused broke her door open,” said a lawyer from the village perturbed that the name of the village is being spoilt.
As news of Eurico Dias being congratulated by the government, local bodies and friends pour in; many in Mandrem are amazed by the inability of the authorities to ascertain the credentials of the saviour.
“It is being said that the attacker is a non-Goan and Eurico is a Goan. We know for sure that his mother is from Sri Lanka and that he came to Goa years back and married a Goan girl from Siolim with whom he has children,” claims a villager.
“He later moved from Siolim to Mandrem and with the help of his mother, who lives in the UK, bought a piece of land and built a house,” claimed an acquaintance of Eurico.
“That the girl was saved is a great thing. However, I am a bit puzzled on how a man who stays far away from the homestay managed to hear a cry for help in the dead of the night?" asked another villager.
Eurico, residents of Mandrem claim, first managed a restaurant called King Kong and is at the moment working in a restaurant at Ashvem which is a few kilometres away from the scene of the crime and where he stays.
“It is now being pointed out that there was no security check done on the waiter. Was there a check done on the foreigner who was running the homestay? Who should be responsible, the owner or the foreigner, to whom the place was leased? The truth will never be reached unless the investigation is thorough,” said one of the neighbours staying close to the homestay.
“The investigation is still on. It is less than a day that we are on the job and we are yet to ascertain many facts. We request to report with restraint,” stated Dattaram Raut, Police Inspector of Pernem Police station.
“I am unable to disclose anything at this stage but we are looking at all possible angles,” retorted an official investigating the case when questioned how people from within proximity of the guest house could not hear anything while Eurico, who stays pretty far away, could.
“There are some people who give their houses on rent while many hire out their rooms during the season. We have a lot of Russians staying in the three wards - Marathawadda and Dandosoddo with more homestays and hotels coming up in these areas,” stated Yeshwant, a businessman settled in the area. “We never had any problem in this area before,” he added.
“Orders have come from the Medical Superintendent that no one should be allowed to meet the patient without permission,” the ward nurse where Eurico is admitted was overheard saying on Saturday morning thus nullifying Gomantak Times digital's attempts to clarify Eurico’s origin and his movements before reaching out to the foreigner.
Eurico has been moved to a room within the ward while the lady victim is in a private room of the hospital. As both recover and the Pernem police complete their investigations, people from Mandrem and tourism stakeholders are eagerly awaiting the truth.