Panaji, May 5: Expelled Congress legislator Atanasio Monserratte, who has been accused of raping a minor girl, today appeared before the Crime Branch here, a day after the Goa police registered an FIR against him.
Monserratte was out of the state when the FIR was lodged against him with Women's Police Station for allegedly raping the 16-year-old girl in March.
The MLA, accompanied by his wife and few supporters, came to the Crime branch office at around 3.10 PM. Before stepping in to the office, he told reporters, "I have not done anything wrong. The complaint is totally false and bogus.
This is just to frame me. Nothing more than that." Responding to a media report that he allegedly spiked the girl's drink before raping her, Monserratte said, "I watch 'Sawadhan India' (TV programme), but I don't know what they put in the drink.
I have not spiked any drink." He said he is yet to get the copy of the complaint. "I have not got the copy of the complaint filed. She was working in Hallmark (his showroom). Her parents are voters from my constituency.
One of my supporters introduced me to her parents and said she was loitering around. That is how I took her on the job," he said. "It is definitely something to do with politics. I am not hiding from anyone.
I am here to surrender myself to police, let them interrogate me," he further said. Prior to this, the Goa police today conducted searches at various places, including the politician's residence, in connection with the case.
"The searches were held at various establishments in and around Panaji and an apartment owned by Monserratte," an official said.
"The teams were dispatched at various locations as part of the investigation. We are trying to collect evidences, as per the statement given by the girl," he said.
The situation in Taleigao village, where Monserratte has a bungalow, was tense. Huge police force was deployed outside his house as a team led by SP (Women Police Station) Kartik Kashyap conducted the searches.
The police, who had booked Monserratte under section 3,4 of POSCO Act, and relevant sections of the IPC and Goa Children's Act, today also registered an offence against him and the girl's step-mother under relevant sections for human trafficking.