Sunday, January 7, 2007

Why Stephen killed in India, Mother's speculation-3

Wednesday 7th December 2006

9.30 am UK (approx 7.30 pm in Goa)

Stephen telephoned. He was extremely frightened. He said something had happened to scare him at Baga Beach and he had left without going back to his room and without his passport or money. He seemed unable to tell me what had happened, but he indicated he had left because he feared a group of people were planning to murder him, or he had left because he had been abducted by these people. I believe the latter happened.

He said he was sure he would not get back home because these people were going to murder him and he was saying goodbye and that he loved us and to look after his children. I asked where he was, but he really did not know and he had to ask someone what the town was called. So how did he get there if he did not even know the name of the place? Stephen said it looked like some big town near Goa. The person he asked gave a name (I think he said Panjum. That person, an Indian, sounded extremely impatient with him and I heard him spell it out three times).

I later found on the internet that Panjum is a local name for Panaji. I told him to ring back in 15 minutes, and I would see if I could get a safe address for him. Note: at this time he was very clear that he did not have a passport or money. He had only a TSB credit card without the pin number and some small change, so I told him to book into a ‘good’ hotel using the card as they would not need the pin number, and if necessary I can send money from here. He was worried about his appearance as he had been unable to shave or wash.

In that conversation, Stephen said Goa is run by a local mafia and the police are totally involved with them. I begged him to go to the police but he said they were too corrupt and would just hand him over to the same people. He was extremely frightened.

He had a small amount of cash and a credit card in his pocket. It is very likely that he was abducted from Baga Beach and that he was accompanied on his next journey. He did not seem to be aware how he had travelled to Panaji. Who checked him out of the room and picked up his passport and money? (Which were returned to him on Thursday).

I contacted various addresses in London and was eventually given ‘The British Tourists Assistants Office, 13-14 Dhempo Towers, Patto Place, Panaji. I tried their number and could get no reply. When Stephen rang back 30 minutes later, I gave him that address and phone number and told him to go straight there and that I had already emailed them.

He said the time in Panaji was about 7.30 so I was concerned that their office would be shut. This call was made from a noisy place such as a bar or café, or it could have been a TV in the background, and he had to ask someone nearby for a pen to write down the address. He promised to ring me back.

I tried to ring the British Toursit’s number myself but got nowhere with my efforts. Stephen did not ring back that day. I now believe he was being held captive.

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