Former minister Micky Pacheco on Saturday evenings extended the deadline set to quit the Nationalist Congress Party and also gave a 24-hour deadline for the government to arrest the officials responsible for Cipriano Fernandes’ death.
It may be recalled that at the State level meeting of the NCP last week, Micky and his supporters had asked the party High Command to fulfill their twin demands and offered a third alternative, by Saturday.
However, Saturday morning NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s while speaking to media persons in Belgaum disclosed that the Congress Party had agreed to drop Jose Philip D’Souza and Nilkanth Halankar from the State cabinet and said it was just a matter of time when it happened.
Around the same time, NCP General Secretary Prafula Patel reportedly called up Micky and asked him to bear up for some time and also conveyed what had transpired at the meeting between NCP and INC.
Following this, Micky who had threatened to quit the NCP on Sunday has decided to wait for another week.
The demands put forth by Micky and his supporters were: 1. Drop Jose Philip and Nilkanth from the State Cabinet; 2. Induct Micky in the Cabinet; and 3. In the alternative withdraw support to the Digambar Kamat government.
Apparently, what helped Micky’s demand is the recent developments in Meghalaya where the Congress and NCP have an alliance which is also tottering with the local NCP unit also demanding withdrawal of support to the Congress.
Given the fact that the NCP and INC have a national alliance, such troubles at State level could not be overlooked and a via media is being worked out to resolve the problem in Goa where the Congress is not willing to induct Micky in the cabinet.
Micky meanwhile has taken up another issue seriously and given the government 24 hours to arrest the officials responsible for Cipriano’s Fernandes death while in police custody.
It may be recalled that Cipriano who was working as a cook on a cruise liner was picked up by Panjim town police on 7th January following a complaint from his girl friend. He was tortured in the police lock up and rushed to Goa Medical College on 8th January noon and passed away in the hospital on 9th January early morning.
The Sub-Divisional Magistrate who inquired into the matter as mandated by law in his report has clearly stated that Cipriano’s death was a custodial death while a departmental enquiry by DySP Bossuet da Silva concluded that there were procedural lapses on the part of the police officials.
The government has handed over the case to the Crime Branch of Goa Police now, who have lodged a First Information Report against unnamed police personnel attached to the Panjim town police station from 7th January to 8th January.
Even as people have questioned the logic in filing a FIR without naming the police officials given the fact that two enquiries have found wrongdoings on their part and even named the officers involved, Micky has now demanded that the guilty officers be arrested.
His argument being: Why special consideration for the police when a common man is promptly arrested in such cases?