A Goa court on September 23 acquitted two men who were accused of raping and killing British schoolgirl Scarlett Keeling back in 2008.
The case in 2008 had triggered a huge public outrage and was put a global spotlight which highlighted the dark underbelly of India’s tourism industry.
The court found them “not guilty of all charges” which enraged Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown who said she was devastated but promised to fight to overturn the verdict.
“I am reeling. It’s been eight years of agony. I feel devastated and will definitely be challenging the verdict. We had been waiting all this time and it’s just rubbish. India’s whole judicial system has totally let me down. Somebody murdered my daughter in this country and somebody must be held accountable.”
Back in 2008 15-year-old Keeling’s heavily bruised and half-naked body was found at the popular Anjuna beach.
Goa Police had initially dismissed the teenager’s death as an accident, but after Fiona had pushed for a second autopsy which proved was drugged and raped, the police were forced to open a murder investigation case.
Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown. AFP
Fiona at that time had also accused local authorities of trying to cover up the death to protect drug gangs who operate in Goa.
Few weeks after Scarlett’s death, two local men D’Souza and Carvalho were arrested in the case.