Herald: Won’t stop the PARTY!
Herald News

Won’t stop the PARTY!

12 Nov 2017 06:30am IST
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12 Nov 2017 06:30am IST
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It appears as if nothing will deter these hardcore party people, not the fear of law or death due to overdose. While those who benefit due to the flourishing drug trade in some way or the other vehemently deny the existence of such activities around them, the fact of the matter is that many of our popular beaches turn into drug-dens post midnight. All one needs to do is look in the right direction VIBHA VERMA finds out more

pparently, no amount of ‘tragic’ deaths, media pressure or public outcry seems to be bogging down the late night parties at venues that that dot the North Goa coastline, ‘some of which are arguably drug-laced,’ while others the venue for the illicit trade. 

After facing a temporary shut down due to deaths of two youths in August, the parties are back to their rocking best, without much ado or fear. For many are so well-advertised that hardly any details are left for imagination, even for the law enforcement authorities.

After the two youths died due to suspected overdose, the  State government swung into action like the ‘proverbial Bollywood cops’ and ordered a major crackdown on the narcotics trade in the coastal belt. After the initial euphoria and mini-raids that yielded petty peddlers, the raids seemed to have petered down to an unceremonious halt and only intermittent arrests have been noticed.

Meanwhile, the parties have resumed with invigorated vigour and zest, with tourism in full bloom along the coastline. The usual suspected drug havens are back into reckoning, with their dusk-to-dawn parties reignited, where narcotics, like booze, flows freely.

Herald investigation in the coastal area revealed that all of such parties are well-advertised through social media and also through brazen posters, which are put along the roads leading to the beaches. Ironically, they are not held in secrecy any longer, even though the law of the land forbids such activities and do not allow loud music nor drinking after prescribed hours.

The shacks, which are supposed to be the make-shift restaurants serving only food and liquor usually turn into night clubs with DJs playing loud music all through the night, with the dance floors rocked by party-goers and revelers. 

The weekends also witness scores of domestic travelers rushing to the North Goa’s shores to participate in these parties.

Interestingly, the parties too are given fancy names, which would tempt any party lover or at least give a try once. What is interesting is that some of the parties happen right under the nose of local police, who surprisingly display no control or actively monitor the situation around them. More often than not these men in uniform appear to be mere spectators.

The Goa police have, however, declined to concede the illegality, claiming that only those parties with valid NOCs are allowed. 

“The premises having valid permissions and NOCs from different authorities are allowed to play music till 10 pm. However, if any party continues beyond 10 pm, it is compulsorily held indoors and with appropriate permission from local panchayats, etc. Our police teams are keeping a strict vigil over this,” North SP Chandan Chowdhary said. 

The party organisers refuse to come on record fearing backlash from the police but admit that this is a time to for business. “If we shut our shacks by 11 pm, then it is like committing financial suicide. We have invested so much money, so we need more footfalls which will compensate for the bad season that we faced earlier,” said a shack owner.

He, however, flatly refused that the drugs is peddled in the party. “We don’t encourage any narcotics. We don’t serve it. But if someone is already high on a dope then we should not be blamed for it,” he said. “We can’t have a medical test of a person arriving at our shack. If you want to know where drugs are available then shacks are wrong place to search for,” he claimed.

While drugs are usually not served at the shack, some dicey places around the belt have the trade being run under the cover of darkness.

A walk on Baga beach last night revealed that the night life refuse to end here. The tourists are busy drinking on the beaches or having a good time at the shack.

“How would someone dance or remain awake entire night without being inebriated,” said a tourist who identified himself as Sham Kapoor, an Information Technology professional from Delhi. Kapoor who is down with the group of his friends from Delhi chose Goa for their vacation with the sole reason that one can party hard in this beach destination.

Sadly all the guarded statements about the control over sale of narcotics in the coastal belt fall flat when one visits these places post-midnight. 

Denying any drug-laced and illegal parties, the IPS officer asserted that all the police stations are asked to adhere to the guidelines over cracking down on the illegalities, failing which the concerned officials/officers face disciplinary action. 
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