Photo Credits: Manuel Vaz
The Jua Comunidade (St Estevam) attorney, Agnel Silveira, was assaulted on Saturday evening, leading to a meeting of the community members who demanded the immediate arrest of the accused.
During the meeting at the Casa do Povo Hall on Sunday, Attorney Silveira recounted that the accused forcibly stopped his bike, took the key, stripped him of his T-shirt, verbally abused him, and even spat on him.
Silveira explained that the accused then paraded him around the area, loudly accusing him of cheating and robbery. After parading him for a considerable distance, the accused threatened him with dire consequences before returning the T-shirt and bike keys.
After Silveira shared the incident, comunidade treasurer Mariano Ferrao revealed that the issue revolved around the auction bid won by the accused for running a shop at the tinto. The accused had deposited the auction amount with the Comunidade. However, the shop could not be allotted due to issues between the Comunidade and the St Estevam panchayat regarding auctioning rights of the shops at the tinto.
Ferrao explained, “We were trying to resolve the issue, but it was taking time.”
He continued, “The bid winner then threatened Attorney Silveira to refund the money, following which we wrote to the Comunidade Administrator seeking approval for the refund.
After obtaining approval, they decided to refund the money. “We called him first to the Administrator’s office and then to the Old Goa police station to claim the refund, but he did not show up. On Sunday, the assault on the attorney occurred,” Ferrao added.
He then sought the opinion of the gaunkars on the necessary course of action. The gaunkars insisted on filing a complaint with the Old Goa police, demanding the immediate arrest of the accused.
“We may have differences amongst ourselves, but that does not allow a non-gaunkar to take advantage and assault the attorney,” stated gaunkar Jack Monteiro.
Additionally, the gaunkars adopted a resolution urging the comunidade executive committee to write to the St Estevam panchayat, seeking action against the illegal businesses run by the accused.
In response, both the victim, Silveira, and the Jua Communidade have filed separate complaints against the accused with the Old Goa police.