Crackdown on drug trade, Congress writes to Goa DGP

Panaji, Jul 3 (IANS): Urging the Goa Police to crackdown on the drug trade in the coastal state, the Congress on Monday said that substance abuse had become so commonplace that even passengers flying out after holidaying reek of drugs.

"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.

Ruling and opposition politicians in Goa have been trading accusations after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, 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.

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.

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.