Tourists going home after visiting Goa, often smell of drugs: Goa Congress

Urging the Goa Police to crackdown on the drug trade in the coastal state, the Congress on Monday said that substance abuse has become so commonplace that even passengers flying out after holidaying in the State reek of drugs, reports IANS.

“It is very scary to inform you that illicit trade of drugs has now penetrated various schools and college campuses, generally found in retail vending joints… if you travel by air after a long weekend to Delhi or Bengaluru, you may find the passenger sitting next to you, smelling of drugs,” North Goa Congress District President Vijay Bhike said in a letter to Director General of Police Muktesh Chander on Monday, according to an IANS news report.

Also Read: Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory raided as deadly drugs worth Rs 35 crore seized as inter-state racket in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa busted found the same situation is prevalent if one traveled by the several AC luxury buses operating from Goa to various metros in India like Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc. Youngsters who come to Goa to party over long weekends, end up parceling “joints” for use later on. Some of them end up smoking on the way back, thus reeking of Charas or Ganja.

Ready-made rolled cigarettes mixed with drugs known as “joints” are easily available all over Goa and cost almost half as much as they do in Mumbai or Delhi.

Also Read: Date rape drug Ketamine factory busted by DRI in Goa: 100 kgs of drugs valued at Rs 5 crore seized

The purity and quality of the drugs is far better when bought in Goa. In Mumbai or Delhi, the same products are adulterated and mixed with other substances, as peddlers try to increase their margins.

Many party goers from Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, etc., who visit Goa and do drugs, end up smuggling a few “joints” back home, as they find the purity and quality of the drugs available in Goa, far better than that available back home. Not to forget that it is much cheaper to buy these products in Goa, than what it is in Mumbai or Delhi.

Also Read: Goa Police, ANC officials were aware of Ketamine factory on BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s property?

Ruling and opposition politicians in Goa have been trading accusations after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), as part of its biggest pan-India raids last month, seized party drug ketamine valued at Rs 100 crore at a manufacturing facility in Goa, which was operating from a premise linked to BJP office-bearer Vasudev Parab.

Also Read: RSS-backed cow vigilantes creating beef shortage in Goa: Lourenco 

Parab had rented out his premises for a sum of Rs 75,000 per month, which he did not disclose in his IT returns, but claims he had no idea what was going on at the premises.

While the BJP has given a clean chit to Parab, the Congress has accused the BJP-led coalition government of trying to shield those linked to drug trade. The Goa opposition has demanded an independent probe into the drug trade in Goa.

Also Read: Parrikar refuses separate probe into DRI raid on illegal drug unit run by BJP leader Vasudev Parab

Accusing the police of cracking down only on small-time peddlers and drug users, the letter also claims that the “police has totally failed to bust foreign drug mafia and peddlers operating in the coastal areas”.

“The Congress in Goa hereby requests your for urgent intervention to take immediate steps and start a special drive throughout the state to eradicate and uproot all drugs- related trade and other such activities,” the letter said.

Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country, attracting more than six million tourists every year, including half a million foreign nationals.

With IANS inputs

Cyclone Mekunu: IMD issues Cyclone warning for Goa, advises fishermen not to go into the sea

In a press release, Indian Meteorological Department issued a warning about the severe cyclonic storm Mekunu on Saturday. IMD mentioned that in West Central Arabian Sea, near the south-western coastline of India wind speed can reach up to  90-100 kilometres per hour.

“Waves as high as 3 meters to 3.2 metres will hit shore”, it predicted. Fishermen have also been advised not to venture out into West-central Arabian sea for at least the next 12 hours. Drishti Marine, an agency appointed by the Goa state government has been appointed for lifeguard duties. They have informed that people are also not being allowed to venture into the sea.

“The cyclonic storm Mekunu brewing in the south-west Arabian Sea is expected to impact sea conditions,” said a statement from Drishti Marine, the agency appointed by the state government for life guard duties.

Rough seas and high-speed winds are expected over the next three days, the advisory stated, adding that there is a possibility of surge of waves during high tide in the low-lying areas.

The lifeguard agency patrolling Goa’s beaches has advised people not to venture out to sea till Sunday because of a cyclonic storm Mekunu, NDTV reported. Drishti Marine said there was a possibility of a surge of waves in the Arabian Sea during high tide in low-lying areas.

The cyclone, which is expected to make landfall in Oman near the city of Salalah on Friday afternoon, is also likely to cause heavy rainfall along India’s western coast, the India Meteorological Department said. But the system is expected to move away from the Indian coast and “no adverse weather is expected along and off west coast of India and Lakshadweep”, the department added. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into west-central Arabian Sea till May 26.

The cyclone has been upgraded to a Category 2 storm. It has been named Mekunu, which is a Maldivian name, because it originated northwest of the archipelago. It is expected to make landfall at Salalah between 1 pm (2.30 pm Indian Standard Time) and 4 pm (5.30 pm Indian time), The Times of Oman reported. Weather charts showed wind speeds would range between 148 kmph and 157 kmph.

The  Indian Meteorological Department said the storm packed maximum sustained winds of 170-180 kilometres (105-111 miles) per hour with gusts of up to 200 kph (124 mph). It has termed the cyclone as “extremely severe”.

Cyclone Mekunu blew into the Arabian Peninsula early on Saturday, drenching arid Oman and Yemen, cutting off power lines and leaving at least three dead and 40 missing, officials said. As many as three people including a 12-year-old girl died in Oman while 40 others are still missing from the Yemeni island of Socotra, which earlier took the storm’s brunt, local police said.

Apart from this, many holidaymakers at Oman have fled the storm on Thursday night before the airport closed. The Port of Salalah – a key gateway for the country – also closed, its cranes secured against the pounding rain.

“Of course, for the citizen, there is going to be a sense of fear of the consequences that can happen,” said Brig. Gen. Mohsin bin Ahmed al-Abri, the commander of Dhofar governorate’s police. “We have been through a few similar cases and there were losses in properties and also in human life as well. But one has to take precautions and work on that basis,” he added.