Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Tuesday conceded there was an increase in the number of drug peddlers in the state, while a ruling party legislator alleged in the assembly that drugs in Goa were being sold in connivance with police officials.
Parsekar replied in affirmative when during question hour in the assembly Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Michael Lobo from Calangute asked him whether the government was aware of the increase in the number of drug peddlers in the state.
Parsekar was also grilled by another ruling BJP legislator from Vasco, Carlos Almeida, who accused the Goa Police of being in collusion with the drug mafia.
Almeida said: "Drugs are easily available in the educational institutions and police are hand in glove with drug peddlers. Everybody knows that drugs are easily available. I am not naming the educational institutions but I know drugs are available."
Parsekar said that he suspected that foreign nationals often commit minor offence, only to ensure that they can stay on in Goa and deal in drugs, until the long judicial process is over.
"I suspect that some foreigners who want to stay on in Goa get themselves involved in a small case and make provisions to stay on in Goa," Parsekar said. The judicial process requires the accused person to stay on in the country until a verdict is reached.
"The beat staff of the concerned police stations are directed to conduct frequent checking in their respective jurisdiction of guest houses, other places where foreign nationals are staying on rent and to verify whether they are holding valid visa and passport to stay in India," Parsekar said.
"Surprise random checks should also be carried out for checking the legal documents of the foreigners," the Chief Minister said.
According to statistics tabled by the Home Ministry in the assembly during the ongoing monsoon session, 54 cases were booked in 2014 under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 62 cases in 2015 and 21 so far in 2016.