The drug carnival in Goa has consumed too many young people to even count, both Indians and foreigners. Many hide deaths which are termed unnatural. Many viscera are preserved to ascertain if drugs, now called ‘obnoxious chemicals’ by the Goa Police, were taken, or if poisonous chemicals were in the system. By the time the result comes out, public memory fades and it doesn’t matter to anyone but their grief-stricken families.
For the past almost two decades, Goa has witnessed a systematic cover-up by the “system” to underplay and divert the fact that the Goa tourist belt is infested with drug dealers, drug peddlers, who function with such ease and elan that their involvement at different levels of governance and policing is imperative.
Each year there are deaths, especially during the peak season of tourists where the sequence of events is similar in a bizarre way, they go out to party, are at a nightclub or some concert and they collapse and die either outside venues or in their hotel rooms.
But when a member of the ruling BJP, Sonali Phogat, dies in this manner in a state ruled by the ruling party, it is clear that the “system”, that has been established to facilitate the ecosystem of rave parties, trance music through the night, violating all norms; is beyond the control of any party or government.
Of course, with quick counteraction by the police and the arrest of the accused and the owner of the beach shack, which is at the centre of most controversies of this nature, it is evident that there is pressure from the top. It is embarrassing if an incident like this happens and there is no pushback and action from the police and the system.
One should ask if Sonali Phogat was just an ex “tik tok” star and not a member of the ruling party, would police action have been swift. Look back at the Siddhi Naik case itself where a young 19-year-old Goan girl from Nachinola was found dead on the Calangute beach in a seminude state. Her distraught and poor father had to fight hard, to even get the case registered as murder about nothing happened post that, and the case was finally asked to be closed, though the formal orders are yet to be issued.
But who is talking?- The cocktail of drugs, raves and political protection has been served in Goa for decades
What is surprising at this stage is the Tsunami of political statements, asking for a fair investigation and calling for the CM to step down, and so on. Conveniently leaders including MLAs and MPS are sidestepping the fact that Phogat, like so many unfortunate victims before her, was 'killed' by the system which allows the role of drug peddlers backed by bigger kingpins to operate freely and sell, export, and imports drugs from and into Goa.
Can drugs be sold and freely, and all-night rave parties be held under the noses of the police who turn the other way and “hear no sound”, without [political blessings? Can the northern coastal belt be full of posters of underground and other trance parties, with no permission of playing loud music till the next morning, unless the police have the nod from the very top?
Why has Goa become the epicentre of drugs and chemical drugs, supplied through a very well network of dealers who are a WhatsApp message away?
Can this happen unless MLAs, Ministers, MPs and those who rule the state are letting it happen? Can anyone in their right senses believe that the spread of the drug network and the number of illegal parties where drugs and trance music are in the open air is “innocent entertainment?”
Can a Member of Parliament, who has drug dealers and peddlers operating in his hinterland village, have the gall to take potshots at others and his opposite party when he himself has not raised this issue in Parliament nor been proactive in his own state? Armchair political critics have no place here.
Those who are giving statements, and all those who have held important official positions, including cabinet ministers should be asked what role did they play to crack down on drugs drug dealers and nightlife stakeholders, who allow the trade to flourish on their premises?
Often, the smaller fish are picked up to show some results and the kingpins lie low for some time till it is business as usual. Recently the Hyderabad police after arresting a Goan drug dealer investigated and gave a detailed account of major drug dealers who are feeding the narcotics industry in Goa. Why is it that the Goa police have not acted on this, leave alone cracking n down on this nexus all these years?
The bottom line is this. No politician in Goa has the right to comment, demand, and level any allegations against others because no one has stood against the menace of drugs and made it his/ her political and social mission. Sorry, you cannot be elected for over a decade and yet seem helpless in cracking down on drugs leading to deaths in your backyard and blame others.
And this is not restricted to the North Goa belt alone. Drugs have entered villages like Loutolim, Raia, Curtorim, etc. Drug peddlers are testing drugs on innocent youth. Village by lanes have become sale and consumption spots. Young boys and girls are getting affected. The victims are not just Scarlett Keeling or Sonali Phogat. They are or will be children in your South Goa villages too if the menace is not uprooted and destroyed for good.
Coming to Sonali Phogat. The accused in her “murder” may have had motives. But why did they come to Goa to carry out their motives? Isn’t it because they knew that there was a weak system where drugs would be supplied by the room boy cum drug peddler, that there would be a shack where dope could be administered or consumed and the police would not care too much?
The villain in this story is not the drug dealer or the police or the unscrupulous shack owner but those who are elected to serve and have become servants of this vice filed system with its rich bounty of financial harvest, at the cost of making the future of our children completely barren and hopeless.
Political statements and calling for investigations from outside agencies are stuff that press conferences are made of. Those who have been in positions of power or continue to have both guilt and blood on their hands for ruining the future of Goa’s youth and fuelling Goa’s image of a drug-filled party zone.