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GOA CALLING: Here comes, drug overdose and the tourist season

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The Goa Spotlight has inside details of the investigation and the first clues, after deceased left Hill Top club and returned

  1. CCTV footage of Hill Top Club doesn’t provide clues
  2. Shashank Sharma’s absence of 45 minutes needs to be probed
  3. Incident proves that drug cartels are still active in Anjuna

RUPESH SAMANT/ Team Spotlight

GOA (Anjuna) The death of Hyderabad-based 24-year-old youth Shashank Sharma due to drug overdose three days before the heralding of official tourist season has once again confirmed the fact that narcotics still rules the coastal belt, despite tall claims of Police department of crack downs.

Though the medical reports to confirm the suspicion about this being a case of drug overdose are  still awaited, all the symptoms and investigation by The Goa Spotlight points out towards mix of drugs and alcohol consumption, which resulted in this young traveler breathing his last at Anjuna.

The Goa Spotlight travelled to the place where Shashank showed the first symptoms of uneasiness possibly due to drug overdose at Hill Top Goa at Ozrant Beach.

The club is known for high voltage parties and must visit spot for the domestic crowd, who throng the State, arguably in search of eternal peace through intoxication. The club has opened on September 30 this year for the season. And the parties are happening all round the day on Sundays.

Shashank and two others had been to the club around 1.30 afternoon on Sunday (September 30). An hour later, Shashank moved out of the club only to return after 45 minutes, shivering and u

neasy showing all possible signs of drug overdose.

He was initially shifted to St Anthony Hospital at Anjuna and from there to Goa Medical College and Hospital at Bambolim, where he breathed his last. The family members arrived next day and took the body back home for final rites.

 

What happened inside Hill Top?

The Goa Spotlight went through the investigations conducted by police till date into this case. The team led by Police Inspector C L Patil is investigating the matter. The first point of suspicion was Hill Top. That’s where entire investigation starts.

The CCTV footage procured from the club showed that the gang-of-boys were holding a water bottle and a Breezer in their hand for so long before Shashank exited the club, in an uneasy state of health.

He returned after 45 minutes. The CCTV footage does not show any consumption of drugs or smoking of narcotics in the club. So where did Shashank get the substance from?

 

Police Theory of Investigation

The police are not ruling out drug over dose and the investigation is completely in that direction. The case has been registered as an unnatural death. The details of medical examination are awaited.

Police Inspector C L Patil claimed that they went through CCTV footage and drugs consumption in the club is ruled out. But he is not sure of what happened outside the premises as the case is still under investigation and people who were present during that day are being questioned. The investigation is in progress, he says.

While Patil refused to part with more details, one of a senior police officer vouched for the fact that several times, the travelers carry the drugs with them or arrive at the club already drugged. In this case, the time of 45 minutes during which he was absent is crucial. Police investigation is trying to find out where he could have gone during the 45 minutes. The chances of he gpoung out of the club to buy drugs is high

 

What happened inside Hill Top

The owner of Hill Top Club, Steve D’Souza, told The Goa Spotlight that every person entering the premises is frisked and if found with any banned substance, he is asked to keep it away. All the three boys did not had any objectionable substance including drugs on them. This means, Shashank could have procured it from outside during his 45-minute-long absence.

Recalling the incident, D’Souza claims that his club cannot be blamed in the incident. “He didn’t do drugs here. He must have had it outside and entered the club,” he says.

When the boy was shivering and extremely uneasy, he asked his driver to take him to St Anthony hospital in his car. “I don’t know what happened after that. My car dropped him and came back,” he said.

 

Boys from other states are bringing in drugs into Goa 

A senior police official who is privy to the investigation claims that in recent past, there has been couple of cases booked in which the boys from other states had carried drugs like Charas during their travel to Goa.

“They carry it from their state to here and then consume. For them, Goa is a party destination and they don’t want to lose a single second without partying,” he said.

The investigation into death of Shashank can fetch results only if Anjuna police can track down the details of what happened during those 45 minutes. The statement of the family members are already recorded before they returned with his body. If police can’t crack this case, which looks like a blind one, then the source of drugs will remain unknown,  yet again

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Leads & Specials

Everyone in the Goa BJP will go home except Rajya Sabha member Vinay Tendulkar- Parsekar

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Not a single BJP karyakarta will support Sopte in Mandrem; the BJP is losing support of the bhandaris and Marathas too, says former CM Lakshmikant Parsekar

Team Spotlight

Mandrem: In a tone tinged with emotion and hurt former Goa Chief Minister, and a senior member of the BJP’s core committee said that if the party continues in this manner, then “everyone (all MLAs) will have to go home”. He sarcastically said that the only one who will be present in a legislative space would be BJP state president Vinay Tendulkar, who has been elected to the Rajya Sabha for 6 years.

Commenting on the larger issues plaguing the party, the former Chief Minister remarked that important sections of the population like the OBCs including the bhandaris and marathas are moving away from the BJP. The support base is shrinking. There is no doubt. If things go on in this manner, then everyone will go home, except Vinay Tendulkar” ( elected to the Rajya Sabha)

It is clear that it’s a no holds barred battle between a section of the veteran leadership in the BJP and party president Vinay Tendulkar. Speaking toThe Goa Spotlight,  Mr Parsekar said “Earlier Vinay used to say that he would consult ‘bhai’ before taking any decision. Now ‘bhai’ is not accessible and hence Vinay thinks he can take any decision that he wants”

Meanwhile the by-elections to the Mandrem constituency is due, after Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte resigned to join the BJP and will be the BJP candidate in Mandrem and Parsekar is clear that the local BJP unit will not be supporting him “Sopte said 80% of the BJP’s karyakartas are with him. He is lying. Zero percent are with him. There is not a single BJP worker who is with Sopte”. Elaborating further, he said that the party may have taken a decision to reduce the strength of the Congress and hence get Sopte to resign but they should have consulted local workers and leaders ( like him) before deciding to field him from Mandrem. “Sopte may have been lured to join the BJP but the party should have understood the ground reality of fielding him from Mandrem”, Parsekar quipped

Parsekar’s remarks assume political significance for three reasons a) It confirms that Sopte will not be able to hit the political ground in Mandrem, running and will face opposition not just from the Congress but the local BJP organization. b) Lakshmikant Parsekar is holding his own political cards to his chest and the possibility of him contesting as an independent after resigning from the party, with the support of local BJP workers, cannot be ruled out and c) Parsekar’s vociferous reaction may spark off a chain reaction among senior BJP leaders who will take on the Parrikar and Tendulkar led party leadership, with Francis D Souza already stating that he may be raided for speaking against the party.

Clearly in an attempt to shore up the party’s numbers in the Assembly, both Vinay Tendulkar and Parrikar,  either by design or bad politics, may have caused far reaching damage to the party, the results of which will be clear, in the next round of elections.

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‘Toilet’ is not a ‘prem katha’ in Goa

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Goa is one of India’s worst states in achieving the Open Defecation Free promise

TEAM SPOTLIGHT

GOA: As the deadline of December 19, 2018 is fast approaching, Goa has to achieve a milestone to rank on the national chart of being free from Open Defecation (ODF). The coastal State, having the lowest population of only 15 lakhs, tops the embarrassing chart of having the lowest ODF coverage in India. With total coverage of only 5.87 percent, the State is the only one in the country where the success rate is less than 10 percent.

 

What is humiliating is that States like Bihar, Odisha and Tripura are above Goa, where not a single village has been declared as total verified ODF. After being on top of the national chart on various fronts like tourism, Smart City Mission, literacy, etc, the State is far from achieving   ODF.

As per 2011 census, the State has nearly 20 percent households without toilet facility. There are also many community toilet facilities that are lacking in the State, which is known as international tourism destination on world map.

As a rough estimate, the government is of the view that it requires at least 65,000 bio-digester toilets, for which Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) has already invited tender.

Kind of toilets to be provided

The toilets, costing Rs 40,000-Rs 45,000 per set, are fitted with bio-digester. Bio-digester toilet technology, perfected by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), is an eco-friendly and maintenance-free system to manage human waste, which is being put to use under the Swachh Bharat Mission movement.

Scheme drafted by State Government 

Department of Urban Development has drafted a scheme for supply and installation of Bio-Digester Toilet in the State.  “If Goa is to achieve the goal of ODF by the year 2018, then it is essential that the construction of toilets is taken up on a mission mode by providing necessary financial assistance to the poor who are without an Individual Household Latrine (IHHL),” Secretary Urban Development R Menaka said.

Under the scheme, any household not having an individual sanitary toilet will be eligible on submission of documents like Aadhar card and an undertaking that he or she will pay the beneficiary share for the supply and installation of the Bio-Digester toilet in his household.

“No occupant of the household shall resort to open defecation and shall use toilet only for the purpose it is designed for.  The occupant will have to pay the entire cost of supply and installation of Bio-digester toilet to government in case of the toilet being not utilized or any occupants of the household resorting to open defecation,” Menaka said.

Urban development has made it mandatory for Certificate from Municipal Council/ /Corporation/Panchayat stating that the household does not have individual household latrine.

The department of urban development and panchayat will finalize the list of eligible applicants under the scheme and communicate the same to the Implementing Agency- GWMC.

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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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