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Need to extenuate police-drug peddler nexus: Sardesai

PTI | Panaji |

Goa Agriculture Minister Vijay Sardesai today said though there are instances to show that police and drug peddler nexus exists in the coastal state, “you have to extenuate that nexus which gives Goa a bad name.”

The comments by Sardesai come days after Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar asked state legislators not to criticise policemen on the issue of drug menace in public.

Sardesai, who heads the Goa Forward Party which is part of the Manohar Parrikar led BJP government, said, there are certain lobbies out of the state who are keen to ridicule Goa and to malign the state.

“And we should be aware about it (designs of such lobbies) and we the elected representative cannot be knowingly or unknowingly helping them in process. I think what CM says is right,” he said.

Parrikar had asked the legislators to pass on the information about drug trade to him rather than making public statements.

“There are instances where nexus is there but you have to extenuate that nexus which gives Goa a bad name,” Sardesai said referring to the allegations of nexus between drug peddlers and policemen in the state.

GFP legislator and Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar had recently expressed fear to his life due to his utterances against drug gangs in the state.

When asked whether Parrikar’s statement in the letter addressed to the legislators was hinting towards Palyekar, Sardesai responded “Even if it is hinting at my minister, I have no problem about it.”

“We as legislators and more as ministers have certain responsibilities to factually and in concrete terms support our statement with proofs,” he said.

Sardesai said “speaking about drugs is quite glamorous and sensational but that is not politics, specially not governance.”

“So governance, if we are in government, we have to speak with some responsibility,” he added.

The minister said “We also need to see that public disillusionment about the law enforcement authorities does not continue. We (government) are trying to adopt various measures to actually break the drug trade in the state.”

Sardesai said while doing that we cannot ridicule our police force now and then.

“Although I am not trying to back the police fully on the drug thing as there have been cases of nexus. It is also the subject matter of house committee,” he said referring to the report tabled on the floor of the house by a committee led by the then legislator Fransisco Pacheco which has hinted at the nexus between politicians, policemen and drug peddlers.