Goa Congress says Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar no more?

PANAJI: According to an IANS report, Congress on Monday said that ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has not been seen in public since October 14, may be no more, drawing a sharp rebuttal from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“Yes, we are taking that call. It is an extreme call that the honourable Chief Minister may not be there at all,” Congress spokesperson Jitendra Deshprabhu told the media here.

Parrikar has not had a single public appearance since his return from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on October 14 and is currently bedridden at his private residence, which party sources said has been converted into a sophisticated medical facility, with doctors and para-medical staff on 24-hour duty.

The Congress alleged that a coterie of officials around the Chief Minister was “illegally” taking decisions in his “absence”.

The BJP called the statement a result of Congress “frustration” and accused the party of lowering the political discourse.

On October 27, soon after Health Minister Vishwajit Rane for the first time officially revealed that Parrikar was suffering from pancreatic cancer, the Chief Minister’s Office said that Parrikar was expected to hold a cabinet meeting on Wednesday at his private residence.

Deshprabhu told reporters that the BJP and the BJP-led coalition should prove to the people of Goa that Parrikar was alive.

The Congress leader also accused the media of trying to play down the severity of Parrikar’s ailment.

Goa BJP General Secretary Sadanand Shet Tanavade said that “Deshprabhu must be frustrated if he is making statements like this”.

Source: IANS

Mandrem By-polls: Parsekar’s Supporters Want Him To Contest By-polls on Congress Ticket, Defeat Sopte and Teach Tendulkar a Lesson

PANAJI: Several supporters of former Goa CM and BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar want their leader to contest the Mandrem by-polls on a Congress ticket only to teach the local State BJP a ‘good lesson’.

IndiaScoops.com spoke to nearly 30-40 of Parsekar’s supporters who were very vocal on the subject. “We must teach the local BJP leadership a lesson. They have treated us like dirt, in spite of the fact we have worked for the party for the last several years, with many of them being associated with the party for more than 10 years. If Sopte can leave Congress, Parsekar can join Congress, only to defeat Sopte,” they said.

Also Read: Former Goa CM and BJP leader Laxmikant Parsekar may quit BJP, join Congress?

Parsekar’s personal supporters numbering about 800-1000 said they would do as their leader does. “If Parsekar joins the Congress, we will also join along with him. He has been our leader and he is a hard-working and dedicated person. We will stand by him and do as he says, even if it means working for the Congress during the by-polls,” they told IndiaScoops.com.

Political watchers said the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) leader and former Goa RSS head Subhash Velingkar is also wooing Parsekar and has offered him a GSM ticket. However, the Congress seems to stand a better chance in Mandrem and Parsekar wants to win at any cost against Sopte. (Read Here)

However, local Mandrem Congress leaders were not sure about inducting Parsekar. “Once he wins on a Congress ticket, he may re-join the BJP later on just like Sopte. This musical chairs must stop. We need a local, but loyal Congress leader who will stand by the party and the people of Mandrem, who vote for him, through thick and thin,” they opined.

As hectic parleys in Mandrem picked up steam, the NavHind Times reported that Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Girish Chodankar met former chief minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday triggering speculations and setting tongues wagging.

Parsekar on Sunday said that he, as a political figure maintains good relationship with the local leaders of all the political parties, and therefore, has no reservations about interacting with them.

Parsekar, when asked about his meeting with Chodankar, earlier this week, told ‘The Navhind Times’ that members of other political parties are his political rivals, and he has never treated them as his political enemies. “I am opposed to them, but till a certain point,” he said, observing that he has never thought of political vendetta against his political rivals.

Sources, however, informed that the Parsekar-Chodankar meeting had the GPCC president discussing the Mandrem by-election with the senior BJP leader, in the light of the recent induction of former Congress MLA Dayanand Sopte into BJP.

The sources also stated that Chodankar told Parsekar about the willingness of Congress to give candidature to Parsekar, if he intends to contest the forthcoming bypoll from Mandrem constituency.

Sopte has already told his supporters that he has joined the BJP after receiving an assurance that he would be the BJP candidate for the Mandrem by-election.

It is learnt that Chodankar also told Parsekar that if he (Parsekar) has no interest in contesting the Mandrem bypoll on Congress ticket, then he could support the Congress candidate in the Mandrem constituency.

“Today the political scenario in Goa is volatile and in such a situation, it is natural that many people are calling me up or interacting with me,” Parsekar said, mentioning that although he is open for interaction, no one should presume things based on these interactions.

Speaking further, Parsekar said that BJP national president Amit Shah is being fed with lies by the Goa unit of the party, and therefore, Shah should now give a patient hearing to the other side that is the existing truth.

“The national joint general secretary (organisation) of BJP B L Santhosh, Goa desk in-charge of the party Avinash Rai Khanna and state general secretary (organisation) of BJP Vijay Puranik should be consulted by Shah to understand the party-related ground realities in Goa,” he added, pointing out, “If the information from Santhosh, Khanna and Puranik is found to be “inadequate”, then I am there and always available.” “Politics of power is not everything and all that we (senior BJP leaders in Goa) had done in the past is now being sadly undone,” Parsekar stated, maintaining that concurring to any kind of compromises just to stay in power is not the culture of BJP.

“It should also be understood that in a democratic setup, one who is in power today is someday bound to be in the opposition,” he noted. On a parting note, Parsekar admitted that his party formed the government in Goa in haste, after the 2017 state assembly election.

“That mistake forced the party to make more mistakes and it went on,” he added. Chodankar, meanwhile, has neither denied nor confirmed about meeting Parsekar.

“Well, I am meeting people and will continue to do so to ensure that Dayanand Sopte and Subhash Shirodkar are defeated,” Chodankar said.

When questioned again, he said, “People of Goa want that both the ex-Congress MLAs should be defeated. I am ready to go the extra mile and meet people who have similar views and join hands with them to root out Sopte and Shirodkar from Mandrem and Shiroda, respectively.”

All India Congress Committee secretary in-charge of Goa A Chellakumar said that he was unaware of any meeting between the local Congress leadership and Parsekar.

He said that Congress would field its own candidate in the by-elections.

“We have aspirants and it will be only Congressmen who would contest on Congress ticket in both the constituencies,” he said. Congress Legislature

Party leader Chandrakant Kavlekar could not be contacted even after repeated attempts.

Sources in the Congress party said that during a recent meeting of the party workers from Mandrem held in Panaji in the presence of Chellakumar and Chodankar, the workers had in one voice demanded that the party give ticket to a Congressman from Mandrem.

The party workers had suggested to the party to avoid giving ticket to ‘imported’ individuals.

With inputs from NavHind Times

“Power-Hungry BJP Leadership Not Allowing Manohar Parrikar Rest”: Ex-RSS Leader And GSM Head Subhash Velingkar

PANJIM, GOA: As BJP’s oldest ally in Goa, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, stepped up pressure for a “temporary replacement” for Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar till he recovers, former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar, on Wednesday, said that the Chief Minister’s sickness is taking a turn for the worse as “unwarranted pressure” is being put on him by the central BJP leaders to resume office.

“Unfortunately, the BJP high command is putting unnecessary pressure on him, when he clearly needs more rest to be completely fit. The Centre, by hook or crook, wants Goa to remain a BJP stronghold and hence forcing him to resume office. This is worsening his current health condition,” Mr Velingkar told reporters in Panjim.

“The Centre should have got a substitute chief minister as long as Manohar Parrikar is not getting well… I don’t think this Goa government will survive if things go on like this. It will be dissolved soon,” said the former state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief.

The Goa BJP chief, Vinay Tendulkar dismissed Mr Velingkar’s comments. He said, the party high command is not forcing Parrikar to continue in the chair. “His health condition is improving now and he will resume office in November,” said Mr Tendulkar.

The former state RSS chief also hit out at the BJP, saying the party was “no more a party of ideology”. “The elected representatives don’t have anything to do with the party’s ideology. They have imported leaders from other parties. The loyal cadre is disturbed. In the next election, the BJP will be completely wiped out from the state,” he claimed.

Dismissing Mr Velingkar’s claims on ideology, Mr Tendulkar said, “Whosoever is in the party is because he or she believes in our ideology.”

Mr Parrikar returned to Goa on October 15, after he was discharged from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, where was undergoing treatment for over a month, for a pancreatic ailment.

The MGP chief, Dipak Dhavalikar, yesterday said that the people of Goa are suffering as the state administration had collapsed due to the long absence of the Chief Minister from his office. “Since Mr Parrikar is recuperating at home, he should hand over the charge to any of the senior ministers till he recovers,” Mr Dhavalikar told news agency PTI.

“Every day, we have to pacify people who come to our doorstep complaining that the state administration has collapsed. What shall we tell them?” Mr Dhavalikar said.

The MGP chief’s statement comes even as Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar maintained that there will be no change in leadership in the state.

Citing the Chief Minister’s ill-health, the Congress party has been demanding that they be allowed to form the government in Goa.

On September 17, the Congress, along with 14 legislators in the 40-member state assembly, submitted a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha, urging her to invite them to form the government.

Even as the Congress had emerged as the single-largest party, in the fractured verdict in Assembly elections in March 2017, two lawmakers last week had resigned from the party, reducing its strength from 16 to 14 in the 40-member House.

The Manohar Parrikar-led government has the support of 23 lawmakers in the Assembly, 14 of the BJP, three each from the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the MGP and three Independent legislators.

Goa Govt Protecting Drug Peddlers, Manufacturers: No Further Action in 100 Kgs Ketamine Haul Case?

August 3, 2018: IndiaScoops.com has learnt that except for a show cause notice by the GIDC, no action has been taken against BJP Gen Secretary Vasudev Parab for illegally renting out his premises to a huge international cartel of drug manufacturers, from whom 100 kgs of ketamine also known as the date-rape drug was seized by the DRI in June this year.

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

If it were any other citizen, either Goan or outsider, he would have been behind bars immediately under the very stringent provisions of the NDPS Act, which clearly stipulates that even landlords who rent out their premises to organised drug syndicates or cartels are liable for prosecution.

The fact that the BJP State government and the DRI ruled by BJP bigwigs in Delhi have ‘protected and shielded’ Parab from prosecution is crystal clear, says a senior Goa-based advocate and social activist.

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

goa-bjp-leader-vasudev-parab
North Goa BJP Gen Secretary Vasudev Parab on whose premises 100 Kgs of Ketamine or date rape drug were seized by the DRI

And in this case the premises were rented out illegally – there was no written agreement, in spite of the fact that the owner was pocketing over Rs 75,000 per month as rent for the premises, which could not be sublet in the first place.

That the DRI and the BJP-led Goa Government has let off their “own man” Vasudev Parab and even given him a clean chit, clearly exhibits favoritism and an indirect ‘protection’ accorded to the drug mafia. Rajya Sabha MP and BJP Goa State President Vinay Tendulkar went out of his way to defend Parab and called a press conference to state that Parab was innocent.

Also Read: DRI busts Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory illegally manufacturing Date Rape drug Ketamine

According to an IANS report, after the DRI revealed a ketamine manufacturing factory operating in North Goa, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday told the state legislative assembly that drugs were “only being stored” in the facility .

So Mr Parrikar is storing 100 Kgs of the deadly and illegal ketamine not a crime?  Doesn’t the NDPS Act stipulates that the owners of the premises are also liable for prosecution under various provisions? 

Four days ago, Curtorim Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco told the State Legislative Assembly that narcotics are being produced within the state, while no action is taken against them by the police (Read Here).

“The level of policing in Goa has stooped so low that people in the State have started growing drugs in the fields.” Lourenco alleged.

He said, “Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was strict during his earlier tenure but now he was gone little weak,” said Lourenco. Parrikar was present in the House when he spoke.

Also Read: People in Goa have started growing drugs in the fields and in their backyards: Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco

“Why no action is taken on the drugs. Are we not serious of this issue? Why not wage a war on drugs? Is there any connivance between politicians, police and drug mafia? Why are we not able to do it seriously? Something is wrong somewhere,” he added.

Lourenco referred to the recent raid by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on a factory owned by a top BJP party functionary Vasudev Parab where Ketamine was being manufactured.

While the Congress legislator named the party, Speaker Pramod Sawant expunged his words claiming that “you cannot name a person who is not present in the House to defend himself.”

Also Read: Shed on Parab’s plot was earlier used to store BJP promo material: Goa Govt, DRI and GIDC actively shielding Parab?

The crackdown, one of the biggest this year, ended with the arrests of 10 men, including two UK nationals and one from Vietnam, and seizure of 308 kg of Ketamine, 250 kg of raw material needed to make the drug and other drugs valued at ₹35-38 crore.

Parrikar, who was accused by Opposition members during Question Hour today for not doing enough to rein in the drug menace, also said that the state government has not been officially intimated by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) agency about the details of the Goa raid.

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

“When the matter involves multiple-states, the state agency is not the agency to investigate, it is being carried out by DRI who are the authorized agency in such matters

” ..whether it is being manufactured here we don’t know. According to my information it was only being stored here,” Parrikar said in response to a question from Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro .

So the Goa CM in his own admission does not know if the ketamine was manufactured in Goa or only stored there. Parrikar should read the ‘Remand Applications’ of the DRI while seeking further custody of the accused.

Also Read: More than 400 per cent increase in drug cases in 2017, 168 cases of drug seizure reported in 2017 in Goa

The ‘remand applications’ submitted by the DRI to the concerned courts, clearly state that the persons arrested in Goa were manufacturing or processing and purifying the ketamine on the rented premises in Goa.

Not just the remand applications, even press reports, if Parrikar has even bothered to read them, clearly stated that ketamine was manufactured at Vasudev Parab’s shed.

According to a Times of India report dated June 14, 2018:

Those arrested in Goa were UK nationals Jonathan Thorn and Barry Bracken; Nguyen Cuong, a qualified chemist from Vietnam; and Sarpreet Singh, who ran a unit where ketamine was allegedly being prepared. Thorn and Bracken are believed to have set up a small unit in the UK where ketamine was being prepared from slurry (one stage before pure ketamine is derived), and Thorn ran a supply racket in South Africa, an official said. 

Bracken ran a processing unit in his house in Goa, while Thorn supervised Singh’s factory, said officials. The plot on which the factory in Goa was set up belongs to BJP leader Vijay Parab.

Nearly, 100 kg of ketamine and raw material used to manufacture the drug was found at Goa BJP office bearer Vasudev Parab’s industrial unit during DRI raid, which was used by NRI Jimi Sandhu to manufacture ketamine, claims an IANS report.

To another question by Congress MlA Pratapsing Rane, about the action the state government was contemplating over the issue, Parrikar said: “I have written to DRI. It is an international racket. The state government cannot do anything… I have already told very clearly it is a central government agency’s inquiry, I cannot interfere in it…” .

So the State government cannot do anything, not even take action against the illegal lease? Stop bluffing the people of Goa, Mr Parrikar!

Pleading that the debate on banned drugs should not be generalized, the CM said that when the police asked schools in Goa for specific inputs about the drug menace, the response was not enthusiastic.

Earlier, Faleiro blamed the Home Ministry for letting drugs proliferate in the coastal state, known for tourism.

“…it is a reality we are not only manufacturing drugs for Goa, we are manufacturing drugs for the international market. It is happening under our nose, in front of police stations, in our industrial estates, in the tourist locales like Calangute and other places,” the Congress MLA said.

with inputs from IANS, Times of India

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

IndiaScoops.com 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

DRI for cancellation of overseas card for drug accused British nationals in Ketamine haul case

After almost completing the first phase of investigation in the 308-kg ketamine drug haul case, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is set to request the foreign ministry to revoke the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards of the two prime accused, both British nationals.

Indiatoday.in was first to report that the British nationals — Jonathan Thorn and John Brecken — are OCI cardholders. While Thorn is married to a Manipuri woman, Brecken’s wife is a Punjabi. Thorn claims to be divorced and has two kids living in the UK. Sources claim their wives were also involved in the drug trade and were used to courier the drugs.

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

DRI has charged both with manufacturing and supplying of banned ketamine (also known as a date-rape drug) in the domestic and international market.

Last week, the DRI raided 14 homes and factories in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa and seized 308 kg of ketamine and 2,000 kg of raw materials. At the heart of this drug business is a factory in North Goa’s Pissurlem village, owned by Vasudev Parab, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader.

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

“This is a very serious case. It is possible that other foreigners holding OCI cards may be involved,” a DRI official said.

By law an OCI card allows a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely. The cardholder is allowed multi-entry and multi-purpose lifelong visa to visit India.

Also Read: Shed on Parab’s plot was earlier used to store BJP promo material: Goa Govt, DRI and GIDC actively shielding Parab?

Drug Factory

Meanwhile, the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) has issued a show cause notice to Vasudev Parab, BJP’s general secretary for North Goa district. It was Parab’s factory in Goa which was raided by the DRI officials in the ketamine drug haul case.

Goan lawmaker Glenn Ticlo, chairman of GIDC confirmed to Indiatoday.in that the notice has been issued against Parab, asking him why his industrial plot should not be taken back. Parab has been given seven days to reply to the notice.

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

On Monday, the DRI recorded the statement of Parab at its Mumbai office. “Parab claimed that he was unaware of the activities taking place inside the factory, which we are not taking at face value. However, at present, we have no crucial evidence against Parab,” the DRI official told Indiatoday.in.

Soon after his questioning, the DRI team communicated with Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) to take required action against BJP’s leader Vasudev Parab.

According to GIDC rules, entrepreneurs who have been allotted government plots on concessional rates for industrial activity cannot lease it out on rent to third parties. Violators can be penalized. Parab was earning Rs 75,000 per month (for the past six months) from the accused.

Source: India Today

Shed on Vasudev Parab’s plot where Ketamine was seized was earlier used to store BJP promo material: Goa Govt, DRI and GIDC actively shielding Parab?

In a shocking disclosure, it has come to light that the same shed on the plot owned by Goa BJP General Secretary Vasudev Parab where 100 kgs of ketamine worth Rs 4-5 crore was seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) was earlier used to store BJP old/used and unused party promotional material like flags, pole banners etc., used during election promotion and campaigning work. Several North Goa BJP workers are aware of this fact and there is no way Parab can deny it, our source told us.

The Goa unit of the Congress has alleged that all the people concerned including the CM Manohar Parrikar, the DRI, the GIDC and the entire Goa government machinery is right now defending, shielding and protecting Parab, which is a big shame and a slap on the face of the common man in Goa.

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

Shed used to store BJP material

A senior leader in the Goa BJP unit (who is not in good terms with Parab) who spoke to IndiaScoops.com on condition of anonymity revealed that there is no way Parab did not have a hint of what was going on. They had used the same shed/plot to store old flags, pole banners, cloth banners and hoarding banners, light pole flags and other promotional party material used during election campaigning. If not Parab himself, other party workers or people working with Parab would have definitely visited the location several times in the last 3-6 months and they would be surely aware that some chemicals were being brewed and stored on the premises.

Some BJP party workers are very upset with the entire episode but cannot voice their opinions publicly for obvious reasons. In his greed for money, Parab has brought a bad name to the entire Goa unit of the BJP. Now the entire State alleges the Goa BJP unit is run on drug money, the leader said.

Goa BJP defends Vasudev Parab

Meanwhile the Goa BJP unit went out of its way to defend Parab. It said Vasudev Parab, holder of a government-allotted industrial plot where a Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) raid unearthed a ketamine manufacturing racket, was not at all involved in its trade.

“Parab does not have one per cent, even 0.1 per cent involvement in it. He has not committed a crime. The only crime he has committed is that he had put the plot on rent without informing the IDC (Industrial Development Corporation). This is his only crime. We have full faith in Vasudev Parab, that he is not involved in such things and he will not be involved in such things in the future,” state Bharatiya Janata Party President Vinay Tendulkar said on Tuesday.

Mr Tendulkar’s remarks comes two days after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar ruled out a state government probe into the ketamine or date-rape drug manufacturing racket, which DRI has claimed as one of the biggest ever raids on drug manufacturing operations, which the enforcement agency has ever undertaken.

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

GIDC show causes Vasudev Parab

On another front the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) issued a show cause notice to Vasudev Parab. Goan lawmaker Glenn Ticlo, chairman of GIDC confirmed to India Today that a notice has been issued to Parab, asking him to show cause why his industrial plot should not be taken back. Parab has been given seven days to reply to the notice. However, civil society and Congress leaders in Goa alleged that the GIDC and the Goa government is going slow on Parab. The IDC rules are very clear. In such instances where there is gross misuse of the leased premises and flouting of the contract, the plot can be directly taken back or seized and all the red tape can be done away with, a Congress politician said.

Parab did not disclose Rs 75,000 monthly rent income in IT returns

India Today tried to get in touch with Parab, but he avoided meeting and only spoke on phone. “I had a fabrication business at the place The business was not making any profit. A tourist driver approached me, saying that a Canadian fellow required my place on rent. I spoke to some experts and asked whether I can lease out the place on rent, but I was told it is not allowed. So I gave it on an oral lease,” Parab told India Today.

Parab received a monthly rent of Rs 75,000 and told India Today that he never mentioned the sum in his Income Tax returns. However, despite Parab’s denial, it is difficult to fathom how he was unaware of a drug business of such huge proportions running from his property.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) last week had busted a major drug-manufacturing and smuggling racket spread across Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, seized contraband worth Rs 35 crore and arrested several gang members. Over 10 persons were arrested and several more are wanted by the DRI across the country and abroad.

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

The total value of drugs including ketamine seized in the Goa raid is in the range of Rs 4-5 crore, while the DRI estimates that the total value of drugs seized in raids across 3 States is in the range of Rs 35 to 40 crore totally, depending on the purity of the consignments seized.

Acting on specific inputs, the DRI officials in Mumbai recently raided a flat in Jogeshwari, various other places in Goa, Baroda, Bhiwandi and a factory in Rasaini,  Panvel.

Over 310 kg of ketamine, cocaine, hashish and opium — estimated to be worth Rs 35 to 40 crore in total — were recovered during these searches.

The racket is said to be highly professional with regard to manufacture of some drugs like ketamine, also known as a Date Rape drug and classified as a psychotropic substance under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Also Read: DRI busts Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory illegally manufacturing Date Rape drug Ketamine

To avoid getting caught easily, the accused would only manufacture ketamine-intermediate (formed one stage before pure ketamine and not covered under the NDPS Act) before packing it off for distribution.

“This was to ensure that if the law enforcement agency catches them with ketamine-intermediate, they would not attract any action,” a source from the DRI said, requesting anonymity.

But ketamine-intermediate can be only used to manufacture ketamine and nothing else. This drug was meant to be exported to some African countries and Canada, the source added.

Further background checks revealed that Shedge was previously arrested by the DRI in 2009 with alprazolam (a sleep-inducing drug), and by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in 2012 in connection with a ketamine case.

The probe revealed that Rahul Shedge – the main accused would manufacture ketamine at his factories in Rasaini on the instruction of his associate who also provided the raw material.

On June 6, Shedge delivered 30kg of ketamine-intermediate to Anthony Paul’s New Panvel residence through an employee. Paul, during the investigation, revealed that he and Shedge have a mutual friend who acts as an intermediary and collects money through angadias.

The other suspect, Akshinder Sodhi is said to be drug supplier with many clients in Mumbai. The DRI seized 140g of cocaine, 220g of crystallised ketamine and 33kg of powdered ketamine from his premises.

The DRI also suspects the involvement of several other foreign nationals in this drug racket.

According to a Hindustan Times report, the ketamine manufacturing racket was run by a Chemistry topper and a UK national, and manufactured drugs were stored at hideouts in Jogeshwari, Panvel, Bhiwandi and Goa. The main accused, Rahul Shedge, a topper in chemistry, had been earlier arrested under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotrophic Substance (NDPS) Act in 2009 and 2012. Upon his release from jail, he continued the racket by manufacturing the contraband at Rasaini in Panvel under the banner of a chemical factory.

In Goa, the plot where the factory was based was owned and run by a top BJP functionary Vasudev Parab (Read Here) and several attempts were made to hush up the matter, opposition parties have claimed.  Knowing the importance of the operation, the DRI did not even inform the local police or the local Anti Narcotics cell fearing a tip off.  However, no arrests were made in the Goa raid, under pressure from local politicians, claimed a senior Congress leader, adding that great pressure was brought upon the raiding DRI team including calls from senior Delhi politicians to let go the workers caught red-handed at the factory.

Opposition parties had to rush to the media and make several calls all over to ensure that the Goa raid was not hushed up and “settled”. It is only after media persons landed at the illegal factory at Pissurlem Industrial Estate, located 60 km from Panaji in Sattari taluka of North Goa district, that DRI officials began to act, allege opposition leaders.

According to a report in local Goa newspaper Herald, the factory belongs to Vasudev Parab general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) North Goa.  Vasudev Parab is one of the BJP’s oldest, most influential and senior-most workers in Goa.

The value of the raw ketamine seized in the Goa raid is approximately Rs 4-4.5 crore.  Parab told Herald he had no knowledge of the ketamine stored in his factory. After interrogations, the DRI arrested 3 youth who were working as loaders in the factory while all the top shots were let off.

Sources said that following a specific tip-off, the DRI’s Mumbai zone unit raided a flat in Oberoi Splendor at Jogeshwari on Monday and seized 33 kgs of brown colour powder suspected to be ketamine. As the field testing kit indicated presence of ketamine in the papers, DRI officials arrested Akshinder Singh Sodhi, a native of Jalander who had taken the flat on rent and was allegedly supplying the drugs in Andheri and Oshiwara areas.

“His interrogations led to Shedge and Anthony Paul, a UK national, and Jai Vijay Industries in Rasaini where the contraband was manufactured. We then raided the factory,” said a source. Based on further information gathered during the investigation, the DRI than also raided a few places in Goa. (Read Here)

In all, the DRI seized 279 kg Ketamine, 140 grams of cocaine, 1.5 kg opium and 7.8 kg of hashish, totally approximately worth Rs 27 crore. Shedge and Paul have also been arrested.

Goa CM Manohar Parrikar refuses separate probe into DRI raid on illegal drug unit run by BJP leader Vasudev Parab

Panaji, June 18: According to an IANS report, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday refused to say if his government will launch an independent probe into an illegal ketamine manufacturing operation recently busted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in which 100 kgs of illegal ketamine was seized from premises owned by BJP Goa General Secretary Vasudev Parab.

According to media reports, Parrikar was non-committal and skirted the issue, passing the ball into the DRI’s court. He refused to take any further questions pertaining to the alleged involvement of a BJP leader in the manufacture of ketamine.

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

“The raid is entirely conducted by DRI and mainly, as you are aware, it involves a number of states. So I cannot comment on things which are not in my jurisdiction,” said Parrikar on the illegal unit in the Pissurlem industrial estate, in which more than Rs 25 crore worth of ketamine was being manufactured every month.

At a press conference at the State Secretariat, Parrikar also refused to take more questions on the raid on the unit, which the Congress has alleged was operated by a Bharatiya Janata Party office bearer.

“You can ask DRI because we have no information about it. DRI has powers to take action. They have accordingly taken action,” IANS reported.

Also Read: DRI busts Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory illegally manufacturing Date Rape drug Ketamine

In a three-day operation code-named ‘Operation Vitamin’, the DRI last week busted an international drug syndicate, seizing 308 kg ketamine, two tonnes of raw material at various sites in Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, arresting 10 persons including two from the UK and one from Vietnam.

The central enforcement agency has described it as its biggest ever raid on the ketamine manufacturers in the country.

Source: IANS

Drugs raid: Parrikar rules out probe in 100 kgs Ketamine haul at BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday ruled out an independent probe into the ketamine manufacturing unit unearthed in Pissurlem industrial estate by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

“The raid was entirely carried out by the DRI, and it was a multi-State operation. So I cannot comment on things which are not in my jurisdiction,” Mr. Parrikar said at his first press conference after over three months.

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

He declined to comment further on the DRI raid on the manufacturing unit, which the Congress alleged, was operated by a Bharatiya Janata Party office-bearer. “You can ask the agency because we have no information about it.”

In a three-day operation last week, the DRI busted an international drug syndicate, seizing a large quantity of ketamine and raw material in Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, and arrested 10 people, including three foreigners.

Also Read: DRI busts Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory illegally manufacturing Date Rape drug Ketamine

Mr. Parrikar said infrastructure, education, and the mining crisis are some of the priorities for him on return. The government has decided to convene the monsoon session of the Assembly from July 19. The session, which will go on till August 3, will pass the budget for 2018-19.

Mr. Parrikar, in March, had tabled the budget and taken a vote on account for four months of 2018-19 by flying down to Goa from Lilavati hospital, Mumbai.

President Ramnath Kovind will visit Goa on July 7-8 to attend the convocation of Goa University. The State will hold a reception for the President on July 8, he said.

Source: The Hindu

How the drug mafia operated: what went down at the ketamine factories at Goa, Panvel and Gujarat?

The directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) on Wednesday busted a factory in Panvel, from where impure Ketamine was being sent to Goa and Gujarat to be smuggled to the UK and Canada, ending its three-day Operation Vitamin.

The crackdown, one of the biggest this year, ended with the arrests of 10 men, including two UK nationals and one from Vietnam, and seizure of 308kg of Ketamine, 250kg of raw material needed to make the drug and other drugs valued at ₹35 crore.

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

The probe revealed that the factory in Rasaini-New Panvel was the epicentre of the Ketamine syndicate, with Bhandup resident Rahul Shedge as the mastermind. Shedge manufactured impure Ketamine in this factory, which was then distributed to the entire western India, said DRI officials. Acting on inputs, DRI Mumbai raided the factory, Jay Vijay Industrial Estate, a flat in a plush locality in Jogeshwari and various other places in Goa, Baroda, Bhiwandi. Seven people were arrested from the city, while subsequent action in Indore and Mangalore took the number of arrests to 10.

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

According to officials, Shedge manufactured Ketamine Intermediate, which is one step away from becoming pure Ketamine, as it is not covered under the NDPS Act. DRI officials kept an eye on their activities and raided the premises only after they produced pure Ketamine from the intermediate.

DRI had arrested Shedge in 2009 with Alprazolam tablets and powder, while the NCB arrested him in August 2012 in connection with a Ketamine case, a DRI official told HT. “Shedge used to sell Ketamine Intermediate to two rackets, one based in Goa another in Gujarat,” said the official.

Also Read: DRI busts Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory illegally manufacturing Date Rape drug Ketamine

The Goa-based racket was being run by two British and a Vietnamese nationals. They used to convert the impure Ketamine to its pure form and send back the final product to Mumbai, from where it was sent to the United Kingdom and Canada through courier shipments. They would conceal Ketamine in teabags.

DRI officials suspect the arrested British nationals were dealing with other drugs and active in the drug supply chain for long.

The Gujarat-based racket used to carry out the Ketamine conversion at factory in Baroda. The gang used to send the final product to a place in Palampur, from where Ketamine was sent to a port in Gujarat to be transported to African countries using the sea route. The drugs would be smuggled along with ordinary chemicals, the official said.

This syndicate is believed to have supplied drugs to international traffickers in Australia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Vietnam and Kenya. “As we cracked down on the main source of Ketamine and unearthed the entire set-up, we believe that there will be no Ketamine in the market for a long time,” additional director general, DRI Shravan Kumar told HT.

Apart from Shedge, the arrested include New Panvel resident Anthony Paul, Jalandar resident Akshinder Sodhi, Ishrat Parmar, a resident of Juna Deesa, Gujarat, Purohit Jagdishbhai, a Vadodara resident and Mayur Sadrani from Rajkot in Gujarat. A man from Indore who acted as a mediator between Shedge and other rackets has also been arrested. All have been booked under relevant sections of the NDPS Act.

Source: Hindustan Times