British national Fiona Mackowen says that she will never dare to holiday in the costal state again. Eight years after her daughter Scarlett Keeling was found dead in Goa. Fiona Mackowen but instead she would love to explore rest of India as a tourist.
"I wont feel like coming on a holiday now. I am not feeling safe at this moment. May be other parts of India, I can visit. It is because of the case is here, and initially state government tried to hush-up the case...I would probably come for a holiday, not in Goa but somewhere else in India," Fiona told PTI.
She is here to witness the final arguments on chargesheet filed in the Scarlett case before Goa Childrens Court in Panaji.
The arguments would be heard this week.Two locals, Placido Carvalho and Samson Fernandes, were charged for drugging and leaving the British teenager to die on Anjuna coast in year 2008. Scarletts semi-nude and bruised body was found on the shore. The case had grabbed international attention as Britishers used to be the largest number of tourists visiting Goa. Fiona hopes that justice, though delayed, would be done by the court after the final arguments.
"I do hope that justice would be done. I would ideally expect that both of them (the accused) would be charged for murder because I believe she was murdered, but the charges that they have imposed of culpable homicide still is a good enough punishment," she said.
The case, initially investigated by state police, was later handed over to CBI on repeated pleas made by Scarletts family.Fiona said the hardest thing for her was the way the government treated this case.
"They made it lot more dramatic. They didnt treat it properly, they should have treated it as a murder straight away before the evidence was destroyed," she said.Fiona accused the previous government of supporting police to hush up the case initially.
"It is not just initially, but they carried it on until we demanded second autopsy. If that had not happened, they would have kept it as an accident. I was very lucky to come across Vikram Varma (Supreme Court lawyer who campaigned for justice to Scarlett). I had no idea about law in India.
"Other people who have landed here in Goa and died, their families are desperate...there is no justice of any kind, they dont even have FIR filed. So that way I considered myself as lucky," she added. Fiona feels things were expected to be different in Goa after the new government took over in 2012.