Danielle McLaughlin, a 25-year-old British national from Liverpool was not aware that her journey to this beautiful tiny state would turn out to be the most devastating one. A full of life and young Irish lady was on her short vacation to Goa as she wanted to live her life to the fullest. According to the information available on her from the reliable sources, Ms. McLaughlin was a backpacker in nature and she loved traveling and making friends across the world. Goa being one of the most sought after holiday destination she had landed here not knowing that this would be her final journey.
Based on her holiday plan to Indian Ms. Danielle McLaughlin had arrived in Goa on Thursday, 23 February 2017 and on her arrival, she had put up in the North Goa at Arambol Beach. According to the sources, the reason behind traveling to Canacona was the celebration of Holi (The Festival of Colours) and as per her plans, she came down to Canacona on the 12th March which was the Holi day.
After her arrival to Canacona on Monday the 12th she apparently went to Agonda and Patnem to spend time with her friends. On the same day later on the evening she celebrated the Holi at the famous Palolem beach where she went along with her other friends. On the next day that was Monday, after playing the Holi festival at nearby Palolem beach, popular with Western tourists she apparently met the accused Vikat Bhagat, a 23-year-old history-sheeter from Canacona. It was obvious that victim was not aware of the background of accused. Later in the evening and at night she was seen with accused Vikat Bhagat at the Shack in Ourem.
According to the DySP Sammy Tavares, the accused told them in the confession that he was friendly with victim Danielle and they had first met on her previous visit a year ago in Goa. ‘We are waiting for the post-mortem report and expecting it to come up by this evening. There were some formalities with the Embassy but a team of doctors are on it. It is underway at the moment,” he said adding that, “’We suspect Vikat tried to sexually assault her as he has injury marks on groin area and thighs. They do not look like nail marks but they are deep cuts. It seems the deceased struggled to get off his grip. But we cannot tell you anything until the post-mortem report is out. Only the report would confirm if she was raped or sexually assaulted.” (source)
Now that it has been made clear by the accused that he knew the victim prior to their meeting in Canacona this time it is but obvious that the victim went to Canacona in south Goa to meet the accused. The victim met accused at Palolem beach and from there they were together till both of them last seen at the shack in Ourem Palolem. Although, it is also not yet known as how she reached at Devbag beach which is around 5 km away from Palolem beach. According to the police sources, the victim Daniella was last seen at Ourem shack with accused Vikat Bhagat at around 9.30 pm and the next day her body was found near Delbag beach in Canacona.
The Canacona Police discovered her body on Tuesday morning at 8 am near Devbag beach 500 meters away from the main road in Canacona. The body was completely in undressed condition and appeared to be very badly beaten due to which she had suffered extensive injuries to her face and head. Ms. Andrea Brannigan the mother of a victim Danielle McLaughlin told the Daily Mail that her daughter would be ‘sadly missed’ as 200 mourners attended a vigil in her honor on Wednesday. Canacona police under the guidance of Quepem DySp Samy Tavares did the investigation of the case and rounded up few suspects and following the initial inquiry they narrowed down to the accused Vikat Bhagat. Initially, the accused denied the charges but following the police interrogation he spilled the beans out. He told everything to police as for why he killed the innocent Danielle.
Based on the shocking narrations made by the accused. He raped the victim and later to make her silence he killed her by strangulating and hitting on her head with bunt objects (beer bottle in this case) thus fracturing her skull. According to the police sources, the level of brutality was such that her face and head was completely crushed with the strikes. The accused told the police that he disfigured her face so that nobody could recognize her. According to the narration by Quepem DySp Mr. Sammy Tavares, they had checked the CCTV footages of the victim along with accused at one shack at Ourem Palolem. The CCTV footage shows the victim came in the shack with accused and had a food there later they walked out at around 9.30 pm and that was the last time the victim was seen alive.
Following the narration of DySp Tavares, the Superintendent of Police Uttam Raut Dessai, from Sanguem Police Station told the media that, “We received information from our sources that there was a boy named Vikas Bhagat, 23, a rowdy and a boy known to police in Goa was spotted with her in the afternoon and evening. He was then brought in and interrogated. He has today confessed to sexually assaulting the victim and killing her with a beer bottle.” He further said that, although Vikat has confessed to the crime but he is now trying to involve the others into it. “We do not believe that there is an involvement of any more people in this crime,” said SP Raut Desai adding that, “We are investigating the matter from all the angles and will make sure that nothing will escape.” According to Mr. Raut Desai, “The accused removed the clothes of the victim so nobody can recognize her and in order to hide her identity accused tried to disfigure her face with the help of broken beer bottle,” he said.
The DySp said that they are still interrogating the accused but he is not revealing much. ‘We are still interrogating Vikat. He has been maintaining that he killed her with a broken beer bottle but not speaking up further. He is not telling us about the reason behind her murder. We also found the shards of the same near her body at the crime spot. But it is unclear if they were drinking together,” he said adding that, “Vikat has told us that they knew each other as Danielle had visited Goa last year and became friends with him. But she used to call him brother. They would hang out but had never gone out of the area (Canacona) together. It was more like a local knowing a foreigner.
The police are having several angles of the incident with them but everything is one sided since it has been narrated by the accused and Police has no more options but to interrogate an accused till he gives in. “We are still trying to find out as which are the places the victim went along with accused before the incident and who else were with her. Vikat had tried to name a few men before but later said he was all alone with her before her last. We are investigating all angles and interrogating suspects. She was not with any foreigner the day before, this we know,” he said.
Police are now studying the CCTV to piece together Ms. McLaughlin’s final movements. She had been at the La La Land restaurant in the Dreamcatcher resort at about 5.30pm on Monday afternoon and was reportedly seen sitting with two or three men and was not drinking. As per the statement was given by the local person ‘We didn’t pay her much attention as it is a common sight to see foreigners with Indian men. The area is very popular with tourists.’ But she is believed to have then left with Bhagat and drank at several bars before reportedly heading to the Leopard Valley nightclub. According to the sources, a friend working in the accommodation business at nearby Agonda said Ms. McLaughlin had arrived in the area from Arambol on Sunday and stayed with another friend. He said she then told the friend she was going to meet some people she had met on a previous trip to the country who were going to help her find accommodation at Palolem.
According to the another report, The Victim Danielle had arrived in Goa on February 23 and was staying in Arambol, but she had traveled to Festival Valley with a British friend on March 12 to stay with other foreigner friends over night. At about 1 pm on March 13, Ms. McLaughlin left Festival Valley and went to Palolem, where she was seen with 23-year-old Vikat Bhagat in Waddo Canacona. The pair were seen together on CCTV near a restaurant in Ourem. Miss McLaughlin was last seen with Bhagat at about 9.30pm on March 13 and was found dead the next day. Bhagat was arrested on March 14 at 3.10pm. His scooter allegedly had blood stains on it, as did his clothes. During a medical examination, officials found Bhagat had nail wounds. Bhagat has since confessed to killing Ms. McLaughlin, saying he sexually assaulted her and disfigured her face with a beer bottle. (source)
When any crime takes place in the state people from across the world makes an allegation on the Tourism Industry of Goa which is not correct. Goa being one of the most sought after holiday destination tourists from all over the world comes down to Goa to spend some quality time here and while on their stay in this state if any accident takes place than it does not make the state responsible for the same. Here in this case also something similar has happened. According to the latest reports, the victim was known to the accused prior to her visit to Goa this time.
SOURCE : VARIOUS SOURCES