Panaji: A Goa cabinet minister allegedly beat up security guards and made them kneel down for 10 minutes as punishment on Wednesday for not letting his nephew near a water reservoir classified as a vital installation, officials disclosed on Thursday.
In a written complaint filed on Thursday to the Chief Engineer of the Water Resources Department, guards Alwyn Fernandes, Anil Nayar and Pralhad Gaonkar said the former chief minister and present Public Works Department (PWD) Minister, Churchill Alemao, beat them up mercilessly on Wednesday for maintaining increased vigil at the water reservoir.
The reservoir has been classified as a vital installation from the point of view of tight security for Independence Day (August 15).
"I have asked for a detailed report from the local executive engineer about the incident. We will take action on the basis of the factual report that he submits," Water Resources Department Chief Engineer S T Nadkarni told reporters on Thursday.
The written complaint stated that on Wednesday, Alemao's nephew (whose name has not been mentioned in the complaint) had tried to enter the reservoir area without making proper entries as called for by procedure.
"The people then called the minister who arrived on the scene, beat us up and made us kneel down for 10 minutes, while his relative's vehicles were allowed to enter through the gates," the guards said in the complaint.
Officials said the guards could not file a formal police complaint of their own volition and would have to seek the consent of the head of the water resources department.
Speaking to reporters, Superintendent of Police (CID) and Police Public Relations Officer Atmaram Deshpande maintained that the Selaulim reservoir was a vital installation because it provided water to the southern half of Goa.
"In fact, we had asked the local police to beef up the security near the Selaulim water body in view of August 15 preparations," Deshpande said, adding that no formal complaint has been filed before the police against the minister yet.
PWD Minister Churchill Alemao could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.