Panaji: The Congress, the main opposition party in Goa, on Saturday said that three employees of a casino in North Goa were taken hostage, beaten up and deprived of food for five days, following a discrepancy of Rs. 1.80 crore in the accounts of the casino. Congress MLA Nilkanth Halarnkar, who addressed a press conference at the state party headquarters, demanded a home ministry probe into the incident. “We are demanding a home ministry probe into this inhuman act. How can anyone lock employees in a room for five days, beat them up and deprive them of food, holding them hostage?” Halarnkar told reporters at the press conference.
The three employees, Halarnkar said, were kept hostage from December 16 to 20 in the casino, which is functioning from a five star hotel, before they were eventually rescued by a North Goa district police team. “Our question is why was no FIR filed against the casino, which had taken these boys hostage? This is despite the fact that a police team had to rescue the three persons from the custody of the casino,” Halarnkar said.
One of the hostages, Chandan Pant, who is a Nepali and worked as a cage supervisor at the casino’s cash desk, in a complaint to the state director general of police has said that after being rescued by the police team, he had been coerced not to file a complaint against the casino management by the police. A spokesperson for the North Goa district police said that police action was not taken after a request by the three individuals not to formally pursue the complaint.