Goa Minister drives into controversy with beach driving, assault allegations

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Panaji, March 12 (IANS) Former Tourism Minister Francisco alias Mickky Pacheco found himself in a controversy after a clipping of him driving an SUV on a South Goa beach and allegedly threatening and assaulting a person went viral on social media on Monday.

Pacheco, on the other hand, insisted he had only gone to pick an ailing friend at nearby Utorda beach village and denied assaulting water sport operator Melroy Da Silva, who uploaded the video clipping about their confrontation on the social media.

The post, which accompanies the video clipping on Facebook, claims that Pacheco ran over a parachute owned by Da Silva’s company at Betalbatim beach on Sunday. He alleged that as Da Silva confronted Pacheco at a shack at an adjoining beach at Utorda soon after, the latter and his three friends attempted assault on Da Silva, with the former Minister repeatedly showing him the middle finger.

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“… Mickky and his three companions tried to assault me. Mickky even tried to run his vehicle over me,” Da Silva said in his Facebook post.

Pacheco told IANS on Monday that he is innocent.

“I was driving my jeep only to pick up a sick friend at Utorda. The jeep is four-wheel drive. Ambulances cannot be driven on beaches. Anyways, if I have broken a law by driving on the beach, I am ready to pay the fine. Why should this man confront me and point a camera at me?” Pacheco said.

The video clipping shows Pacheco sitting along with male companions at the beach shack, with alcoholic drinks on the table and then getting into an altercation with Da Silva. At one point, the former Minister even falls as he tries to fling a glass at Da Silva.

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Mickky denied assault charge and said he would file a complaint against Da Silva on Tuesday.

Pacheco is no stranger to controversies, earlier wearing bandanas to work at the State Secretariat as a Minister, getting booked in criminal cases, including for alleged assault, assault on government servants, extortion.

He was also sentenced to six-month imprisonment in 2015 for assaulting a Junior Engineer of Electricity Department.

–IANS

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