Tension mounted in the port town on Tuesday evening after Revenue Minister and Nationalist Congress Party State president Jose Philip D’Souza stormed into a hotel where his party colleague and MLA Micky Pacheco was holed with some supporters and reportedly assaulted the latter.
Micky was seated with Goa Fishing Boat Owner Association President Simon Pereira, Chicalim Sarpanch Raul D’Costa and Chicalim Panch Seby Pereira when the incident occurred and according to Simon and Raul, Jose Philip manhandled Micky by catching hold of his shirt and shoving him.
Jose Philip was accompanied by his supporters numbering around 60 who too joined the melee and some of them even assaulted Micky while others damaged the car (GA-08/F-1854) belonging to one diego Pereira from Betalbatim that was used by Micky and was parked outside the hotel premises.
According to Jose Philip, Micky had come to the Port town to distribute money to his rivals in a bid to defeat the candidates put up by him for the ensuing municipal elections. He even pegged the amount brought to be distributed to be over rupees one crore.
On getting the news that Micky was assaulted, his supporters from Betalbatim and other surrounding areas rushed to Vasco but were stopped at Chicalim where Micky explained to them what happened and they returned home.
Micky while pointing out that no money was found on him or those with him or even in the vehicle, rubbished Jose Philip’s charge that he was distributing money. “How can I distribute money when the CBI has frozen my accounts,” he asked.
His version of the incident is that he had gone for dinner with his friends, when Jose Philip barged into the hotel and created the ruckus. “Jose Philip is frustrated because he knows that the defeat of the candidates fielded by him is imminent,” he said.
The immediate fall out of this incident was that the hotel had to close down operations as Jose Philip’s supporters went on a rampage breaking windows, glasses and even liquor bottles.
Meanwhile, three supporters of Jose Philip have lodged a complaint with the Vasco Police against Micky accusing him of distributing money. The trio Anthony Fernandes, Balu Salgaonkar and Atela Sayed also alleged that Micky had transferred a bag from his car to another car.
On the other hand Simon Pereira, Mariano Fernandes and Edwin Carvalho have lodged a complaint against Jose Philip and his supporters for assaulting Micky while Diego Pereira, the owner o f the car has complained about the damage to his vehicle.