Panaji: Goa Tourism Minister Fransisco
Pacheco on Saturday resigned from the Cabinet over allegations about
involvement in the death of a woman friend and remained
"untraceable", prompting the police to launch a manhunt for
Pacheco, 46, faxed his resignation letter to Chief
Minister`s Office this afternoon, a day after he was quizzed
by Crime Branch in the case. In the letter, the NCP leader
said he was quitting because of the charges against him in the
death of Nadia Torrado.
Governor S S Sidhu has accepted his resignation, a Goa Raj
Bhawan notification said.
A look out circular has been issued against Pacheco at
all international airports, to prevent him to escape, Goa
police spokesman Atmaram Deshpande said.
Pacheco, an NCP legislator, is in the trouble over the
death of his close friend Nadia Torrato, 28, who allegedly
committed suicide by consuming poison. Nadia died last Sunday
while being treated in a private hospital at Chennai.
The Tourism Minister, who also held Housing Board and Port
portfolios, had put in his papers earlier in the day before
the Chief Minister Digamber Kamat.
Kamat told reporters that he had immediately sent the
resignation letter to the Governor. In the evening, a
notification from Governor was issued accepting his
resignation with immediate effect.
Goa Police continued desperate searches to track Pacheco,
who was quizzed for almost nine hours by the Crime Branch.
Deshpande said that Crime Branch had summoned the Minister
again today for further interrogation. A senior police officer
stated that searches were conducted at various places
including his residence at Betalbhatim village in South
Goa, but he was not found.
Kamat said Pacheco did the right thing by resigning,
especially when his role into the death of a girl was being
Pacheco was one among the two NCP ministers in the state
cabinet. Now with the ministry`s vacancy, Congress and NCP
high commands are expected to meet and decide on the new face
to fill the post.
Kamat said he will leave it to his party high command to
select a legislator for the minister`s post. NCP, on the other
hand, has said its legislator has resigned to give a free hand
to the police to investigate the case.
Police say Nadia died under mysterious circumstances.
The Crime Branch has recorded statements of Nadia`s mother
Sonia and her younger son in connection with the death case.