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Drugs, deaths and false promises: Goa’s Molotov cocktail

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Drugs may not be sold in nightclubs but are available everywhere; crackdown in drugs remains only a slogan

PADMAVATI PRABHU/ Team Spotlight

 

Short summary

  • The death of a 24 year old Hyderabad boy who was partying at Hilltop club, Vagator, due to suspected drug overdose (reportedly consumed outside the club) recently
  • January 1 till October 7 this year, nearly 74 kgs of narcotics substance has been seized the cost of which in international market is approximately Rs 1.87 crore.
  • In September 2017, Chief Minister asking MLAs to provide him any information available on drugs or related activities

GOA: The recent incident of death of a 24-year-old Hyderabad youth has once again exposed the dark underbelly of the drug trade in the State.

Despite police claiming that they are trying to crackdown on drug trade in the State, statistics reveal that drug movement in connivance with the locals is still prevalent in the State, especially in the coastal belt of Calangute, Anjuna and Siolim, among others.

 In different raids conducted by the Anti Narcotics Cell, Goa Police and Crime Branch from January 1 till October 7 this year, nearly 74 kgs of narcotics substance has been seized the cost of which in international market is approximately Rs 1.87 crore. However, the highest seizure is that of ganja (58 kgs approximately), followed by charas (15 kgs). In all, 173 cases have been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and 182 persons arrested. Interestingly, among those arrested 55 are Goans and 31 foreign nationals, of which 21 are Nigerians.

Calangute MLA and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo had lashed out at Parrikar and said that tourism is the only industry surviving the State and that too is not safe.

“Drugs are being sold openly. If the unemployment issue is not addressed at the earliest, youth may get trapped into the drug business to earn money”, he had warned.

In September 2017, Chief Minister had written to the all the MLAs asking them not to make any statements in public on drugs that would create sensationalism while even asking them to provide him any information available on drugs or related activities to curb drug menace in the State.

Locals are supporting the drug movement in Goa

The boss of Goa’s anti narcotics cell SP Umesh Gaonkar officially blows the lid off any pretences that the drug trade is under control

“Drugs are being brought from outside the State. But when these peddlers come down, they try to find a local customer as there is no retail sale. No drug movement can happen without support from locals as they are the ones who provide them shelter and other facilities.”

As mostly drugs are used in music parties, he said, “We have cracked down on music parties in the open and we are carrying out continuous checks in closed places too. Drugs are basically consumed for dance parties that happen throughout the night. But drugs in small quantities are there. For example, if you consider LSD paper, they are like revenue stamps and can be hidden anywhere. And secondly, there is no taste and odour too. So it is difficult to identify also.”

Interestingly, there is consumption of huge quantity of water in these music parties due to dehydration, informed a police official.

When contacted, the MLA from the coastal constituency of Siolim and Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar informed that he has responded to the Chief Minister informing about drug-related information in his constituency.

“As far as the drug scene in my constituency is concerned, it has come under control to a very large extent. But there are still some areas which need to be cracked down. The drug mafia or the kingpins need to be put behind bars. May it be a Goan or an outsider, drug dealers have to be arrested”, said Palyekar. Si  gnificantly, his constituency, is arguably the centre of Goa’s drug trade and the likely point for drugs which come into Goa and those which are sent out from the state

Police sources however informed with the beginning of the tourist season, drugs like ganja, which is mostly prevalent in the State is brought in from states like Orissa and West Bengal, while charas comes in mostly from Himachal Pradesh or Nepal.

“Local police book cases of drugs after carrying out random checks and also based on information. ANC, however, based on the information received conducts raids. Therefore ANC cases, though less in number compared to local police, are quality cases. Here, the drugs seized are of commercial quantity”, SP Umesh Gaonkar.

He also informed that if the drugs recovered are of a commercial quantity, then it is a non-bailable offence, but if the quantity is less than commercial, then there is a provision for bail. There quantities are specified in the NDPS Act.

The police however maintains that there has been a “crackdown”. When asked about the crackdown on drug sale, he said, “There is continuous crackdown by the police resulting into more seizures, more arrests since last year as the action is deterrent. Due to this, big kingpins and dealers cannot get a big consignment or contraband to the State.”

“What is prevalent in Goa is mostly ganja and the quantity that we have recovered is mostly less than the commercial quantity specified in the NDPS Act. Hence being less than commercial quantity, it is a bailable offence”, he said.

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Parrikar returns home, on a stretcher & in an ambulance

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  1. Parrikar travelled in an ambulance to his home at Dona Paula.
  2. GMC has set up medical facility at his personal residence
  3. Party men and coalition partners were clueless over  his early arrival.

Team Spotlight

GOA: The usual bonhomie that surrounds arrival of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar when arrives back in the State was missing on Sunday, when the BJP leader was moved from AIIMS to Goa on a stretcher and travelled through ambulances.

Parrikar was flown to Goa in a special flight on Sunday afternoon. Two Ambulances equipped with the doctors was part of his carcade that went to receive him at INS Hansa base. The former union defence minister travelled on a stretcher to his home.

India’s news agency Press Trust of India in its report from New Delhi had said that Parrikar’s health had deteriorated at AIIMS last night after which he was shifted to Intensive Care Unit.

He was discharged from the hospital and then flown to Goa.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that Goa Medical College and Hospital has set up facility at Parrikar’s residence at Dona Paula, where his medical needs would be looked after.

The arrival of Parrikar was sudden and unexpected. Rane was seen supervising the arrangements by calling special meeting of the GMC officials last night.

 

But what is shocking for his party members and coalition partners is unexpected arrival from AIIMS where he had met BJP Core Committee and coalition partners on Friday.

“Parrikar has been always commanding, whatever he decides for himself, he has been deciding. He never listens to his family or his close ones,” BJP Legislator and State Power Minister Cabral told reporters at the airport where he had come to receive Parrikar.

Unlike last two times when he had arrived from the USA wherein he had walked out of the Airport, this time, the ambulance was taken near the special flight to pick him up.

“We hope that he recovers fast and miracle happens. I think it must be his personal decision that he wants to come back to Goa. When I met him last time, he spoke well. It must be his decision to come to Goa,” Cabral said.

 Union AYUSH minister Shripad Naik who had met Parrikar along with Cabral at AIIMS on Friday said that he could not believe the news reports that Parrikar was coming back.

“I had met him day before yesterday. I got the news that he is coming back but I can’t believe that he is returning. His health is improving and he was expected stay at AIIMS for few more days,” Naik said talking to reporters in Panaji on Sunday morning at the sidelines of a function.

“It is okay if he takes treatment in Goa but he needs to take rest,” Naik said.

State Civil Supplies Minister and Independent MLA Govind Gawade said that Parrikar should have stayed back at AIIMS for some time and fully recovered before coming back to Goa.

“But we welcome him back. Goa was missing its leader,” he said.

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Goa minister says he backs Sanstha on terror radar, after TV sting reveals terror confessions

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Sanatan, the terror factory exposed again by National TV channel

Disciples are seen admitting to the crime

Police officers allege political pressurenb

Dhavalikar admits of helping Sanstha

Team Spotlight

GOA: Within hours of an India Today TV sting operation where two Goa police officers confessed that there was a political pressure not to act against Sanstha despite evidence  of the institutions involvement in the Margao bomb blast of 2009, the state’s PWD miister Sudin Dhavlikar informed The Goa Spotlight that he indirectly funds the Sanathan Sanstha, based in his backyard of Ponda, through advertisements.
Sudin Dhavalikar when questioned about the political patronage said that journalists should ask then Home Minister Ravi Naik who was ruling the State during that time.

Dhavalikar is unapologetic about his association with Sanatan and even went to the extend of admitting that he has been indirectly funding it. “I give advertisements for the Sanatan Sanstha,” he said, apparently referring to the daily Sanatan Prabhat which is published from the Ashram at Ramnathi, which has a headquarter at Ramnathi in Ponda,

The wives of Sudin Dhavlikar and his brother Deepak Dhavlikar, President of the Mharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and former minster, are active members of this organization mentored by Dr Jayant Athavale.

The two police officers, C L Patil and Salim Sheikh have spoken about political patronage that was accorded to the Sanatan, due to which it could not be shut down. Fingers clearly point towards the Dhavalikar family.

Importantly, the sting operation which was conducted across Goa and Maharashtra has two persons acquitted of their involvements in bomb blasts – Haribhau Krishna Divekar and Mangesh Nikam – admitting to their act in the neighbouring Maharashtra

Inspite of a number of terror related cases against Sanstha operatives, Dhavlikar, one of Goa’s seniormost ministers, said that Sanatan is doing work for “Hindu religion and culture. We support all such organisations which do similar work,”. He went on to add  “I don’t think so that they are doing any work against the country,” the minister, who represents Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) in the State Legislative Assembly.

Responding to a question about involvement of seekers from Sanatan in criminal activity, Dhavalikar said that investigation in those cases are happening and court will decide whether they are really guilty.

The minister admitted that his family has been associated with Sanatan Sanstha.

“My family and me are associated with Sanatan to spread Hindu religion. Sanatan doesn’t believe in violence,” he said.

India TV investigation has once against revived the demand for ban on this organization operating from Goa and having presence in 17 states.

The terror was allegedly being unleashed by Sanatan Sanstha to create fear in the mind of people which will deter them from parodying Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the dramas and movies.

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The no so inside story of why Januz’s body was wrongly disposed

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Systematic negligence and not a one off carelessness led tot eh Januz Gonsalvez body fiasco

BAMBOLIM:

The background we all know

24 years old Januz reportedly suffered a massive cardiac arrest while playing football at the Aldona panchayat ground on Sunday, 23 September evening and collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the Aldona primary health centre. His body was however, brought to GMC for post-mortem and subsequently since his siblings had to arrive from overseas, the body was kept in the mortuary. On Saturday, 29 September when the family arrived at GMC to take custody of the body for final rites, Januz’s corpse was not to be found.

When a body is wrongly disposed off from a morgue, you have to put it down to systematic negligence and not a one off burst of incompetence. Even as the dust settles don and the heat seems to be waning off the case, The Goa Spotlight refuses to allow the issue to go cold. We cannot have more Januz Gonsalves’  taken out of morgues and disposed off, before their relatives arrive to find the body of their loved ones missing

Here are some glaring examples of how GMC botched up the Januz Gonsalves case

1 There is an outdated system of maintaining records on ledger books. Added to this is  the negligence on duty by the staff of the Forensic and Toxicology Department of Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC). Firstly, the GMC till date follows an outdated system of maintaining records on ledger books and secondly despite having doubts none of the staff including Dr Edmundo cross verified the details pertaining to Januz’s body.

The morgue has no space for the dead

Hospital sources informed that the blunder was long in the waiting. On conditions of anonymity one source said “The GMC morgue is under tremendous pressure since decades. More than one body is placed in one cabinet and thus such an incident was long in the waiting. Even after the new morgue was inaugurated by the previous government, the condition hasn’t improved.”

Cabinet change not recorded on ledger record. Body or mass cremation taken fiorn canibet number 228 (where Januz was kept) instead of 220 where VIshant Naik was kept

According to confirmed reports, one Vishant Naik’s body which had remained unclaimed since 30 July 2018 was placed in the cabinet number 228. When Januz’s body was brought to the morgue, the body was placed in the same cabinet. Subsequently, Vishant’s body was shifted to cabinet number 220. However, the change in the cabinet was not reported correctly in the ledger record.

On Friday 28 September the CCP staff arrived at the GMC to receive 4 unclaimed/unidentified bodies for mass cremation. Since the change in the cabinet of Vishant’s body was not recorded properly, GMC staff handed over Januz’s body which was in cabinet number 228, thinking it to be Vishant’s body which was actually in cabinet number 220.

Attendant ignored:  Attendant on duty who pointed out that the body in 228 was much younger than that of a 45 year old Vishant Naik ignored

The negligence didn’t stop at this point. The attendant on duty pointed out to the other staff that the body to be handed over is of a 45 years old man and the body in question seems of a much younger aged person. Instead of cross verifying the details, the staff on duty brushed aside the opinion of the attendant and handed over Januz’s body instead of Vishant Naik.

One of Januz’s family member expressed shock that the GMC which is Asia’s oldest medical institute still is backward compared to other countries in the continent. “We claim Goa to be an advanced state but we still write records in ledger books when the world has switched to computers. This kind of attitude and negligence cannot be accepted. We hope atleast now the government will improve the system and no other family goes through the trauma that we have faced”, he stated.

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