Murdered girl's mother ordered to Indian court

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The Independent Online

A mother who is campaigning for justice after the rape and murder of her teenage daughter in India is being summoned to answer allegations of neglect, her lawyer has said.

Fiona MacKeown believes the authorities have made a number of attempts to cover up the death of Scarlett Keeling as an accident.

The body of the 15-year-old was found on Anjuna beach in Goa on February 19. She had been left in the care of a 25-year-old tour guide while the rest of the family went travelling.

Now Goa's Directorate of Women and Child Development has ordered Mrs MacKeown, 43, to appear before the courts on October 15.

Her lawyer, Vikram Varma, said she would not attend the hearing and the allegations had "no substance".

Mr Varma said powerful forces in Goa wanted to cover up Scarlett's death.

He said: "They have prejudged her.

"They will try to ensure that Fiona does not come to India to give her testimony about Scarlett.

"They want what happened to Scarlett to be an accident."

Mrs MacKeown, from Bradworthy, Devon, went travelling with her six other children leaving Scarlett in Anjuna.

Police said initially that her death was an accidental drowning but, after a sustained campaign by Mrs MacKeown, the results were re-examined and a second post-mortem examination held.

The results revealed Scarlett was killed and a murder investigation was launched.

The tests also showed that Scarlett was given Ecstasy, cocaine and LSD on the night she died.

Nerlon Albuquerque, the police officer who first investigated the death, was dismissed in April.

Two men were arrested, Samson D'Souza, 29, and Placido Carvalho, aged between 30 and 35, who have appeared in court on suspicion of drugging Scarlett and assisting in the murder by that act.