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    given free hand, fall apart

    The efforts are on," Superintendent of Police Bosco George said. Police sources said their attempt to get the girl for medical examination turned futile this evening as she tried to run away from the police jeep.
    The girl had to be taken back to the home, officials at Calangute police station said. The police have made it clear that they will not arrest Rohit till they get the medical report or the statement.
    "We are waiting for either of the two. Once we have something in hand, then we will act," George said.
    Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat and Home Minister Ravi Naik today rejected the charge that there is political pressure playing in the case. "Police have been given free hand.
    They are investigating it," Naik said. Director General of Police B S Brar and Inspector General of Police Kishan Kumar, who met the media, refused to speak on the issue.
    "Superintendent of Police (North) will be briefing the press," they said. The police officials conceded the delay in the girl's medical examination and her deposition are likely force the case to fall apart.

    Please explain "given free hand" to me.

    Also I think "fall apart" means "the case will collapse" in this context. Am I correct?

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    Re: given free hand, fall apart

    On fall apart, you are correct.

    Given [a] free hand means allowed to procede without any interference.

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