MARGAO: A 30-year-old native of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, a criminal wanted in the case of a Rs 32 lakh heist, was arrested on Thursday for the alleged sexual assault of a 48-year-old British woman in south Goa early the same day.

Police were already on the lookout for Ramachandrappa Chinna Yellappa for the robbery in north Goa beach belt of Morjim earlier in the week, when he raped a woman at Palolem, a popular beach destination in south Goa.

The incident comes just about 19 months after the rape and murder of a 28-year-old British woman at Devbag beach in Canacona.

Police said Yellappa attacked the woman as she was returning to her room from Canacona railway station with her luggage. Yellappa accosted her on the road leading to Palolem, allegedly pushed her into a road- side field where he committed the crime around 4.30am, police said.

The woman, a frequent visitor to Goa for past 18 years, had gone to Canacona railway station to board a train to Thivim, from where she had other travel plans. But as the train was running late, she decided to return to her room.

South Goa SP Arvind Gawas told TOI the survivor told police Yellappa gripped her neck as he assaulted her. He then fled with the three bags that contained Rs 20,000 in cash, mobile, passport, debit cards and other valuables, Canacona police inspector Rajendra Prabhudesai said.

“CCTV footage clearly showed a person in a sweater with a hood moving about suspiciously-he was spotted near the site of the crime as well as at some other locations along this road stretch. All police stations were alerted, and soon enough a person matching the description of the suspect’s appearance was reported to have been spotted in Margao. He was immediately nabbed,” Gawas said.

It turned out to be Yellappa, also wanted for the Rs 32-lakh robbery.



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