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Goa’s ex-minister, on the run, finally surrenders 

Panaji, June 1 (IANS) Convicted former Goa minister and legislator Francisco Pacheco, who was on the run for nearly two months, finally surrendered before a trial court in Goa on Monday.

Before surrendering to the Judicial Magistrate First Class in Margao, 35 km from Panaji, Pacheco – the former minister for archives and archaeology – said he was pursuing legal options in Delhi and that he was not missing.

“I was in Delhi. I was not missing,” he said.

Pacheco, whose conviction in a 2006 assault case was upheld by the Supreme Court last month, was untraceable since April 9, according to police.

A special police team was set up to serve him the arrest warrant, even as the prosecution had initiated judicial proceedings to proclaim the politician as an “absconder”.

Goa Police had already announced a reward of Rs.25,000 for any information on him leading to his arrest.

Pacheco is the supremo of the Goa Vikas Party, a coalition partner in the ruling BJP-led government and has two members in the legislative assembly, including Pacheco himself.

Pacheco has a history of criminal cases against him ranging from extortion, assault, bigamy, money laundering and human trafficking and loan default.

A court in Goa had also issued a warrant to search the 10, Akbar Road official residence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for Pacheco, but the order was suspended after the state government appealed against it.

Pacheco faces six months of simple imprisonment for assaulting a state power department junior engineer in his cabin in 2006.

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