Representational Image
Representational Image

Panaji: Raising concern over “growing” drug menace in Goa, Congress leader Pratapsinh Rane today wondered if the government wanted to turn the state into “Udta Goa”.

“…Like ‘Udta Punjab’ (name of a 2016 Bollywood film) you want to turn Goa into ‘Udta Goa’? Going by the pace at which narcotics are spreading, the coastal state would turn into ‘Udta Goa’,” the former chief minister said in the Legislative Assembly. He was speaking during a discussion on the Demands for Grants for the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) department.

The movie “Udta Punjab” was loosely based on and revolves around the drug abuse by the youth population in Punjab. Rane alleged that the BJP-led state government didn’t take any action against the owner of an industrial unit at Pissurlem from where 100 kgs of Ketamin was seized recently.

“The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act has a provision prescribing ten years in jail for a convict. But this man (owner of the unit) is roaming freely,” he said.

The unit was raided by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

“The central agency had conducted the raid at the industrial unit and local police were not even allowed to enter in (the premises of the unit),” said Rane.

The Congress veteran wondered whether the state government was shielding the mastermind of the drug trade.

“What has the Goa government done after the raid? Are we protecting someone? My question is that are we going to allow drugs to be made freely available in the state?” he questioned.

The issue of drug menace in Goa, known for beach tourism and parties, had been raised by various quarters in the past. Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar had last month acknowledged existence of an “unknown” godfather of drug activities and accused the police of looking another way. A senior Congress MLA had blamed the sale and consumption of drugs for rising incidents of rapes in the coastal state. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that the crackdown against drug trade was on.

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