Action against drugs should not end at Curlies shack


The Sonali Phogat death case is now veering towards a CBI probe, with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant expressing his willingness at the request of his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar. There was, however, a hint of hesitancy in the tone of the CM’s language. “After following all formalities, if required, we will give the case to the CBI,” said Sawant while commending the efforts of the Goa Police conducting the probe.

It is alarming that the investigation is considered satisfactory when there are so many loose ends and lapses in the probe right from day one. Ironically, it was the police that registered this case as “unnatural death” to begin with. It was only the nature of the case and the high-profile people involved that drew the attention of the national media that the Goa police were forced to rethink the investigation.
While the Phogat death case continues to draw attention, Goa is grappling with two aspects. One is about the murder angle, which the police are seized with and now pursuing vigorously. The second one is the availability of drugs in shacks and eateries along the coastal belt and the production of “designer drugs” in Goa.
The police have a tough job on their hands to piece together all clues — from establishing the charge that Phogat’s associates forcefully administered “obnoxious drugs” to linking the injuries on her body shown in post-mortem reports to the accused. Also, the murder case appears to be as complex as the relationship between Phogat and her aide. The rape charge made by the family remains vague, and the viral videos of the actress dancing to the beats provide no conclusive evidence of hatred towards her.
While the murder case is hogging all the attention, the drug issue has not got the seriousness it deserves. There are even more baffling questions on this topic, from the easy availability of drugs in shacks to designer drugs being made and sold in Goa. Curlies which has been at the centre of the controversy is now battling an ownership issue, just like the Silly Souls restaurant in Assagao did a month back. The question here is how and to whom the licenses and clearances were issued.
While the drug chase has picked up the pace, and the anti-narcotic cell has gone into overdrive, one wonders about the sincerity of this action because these officers engaged are the same ones who have failed to crack the whip or overlooked the thriving drug sale in shacks and coastal establishments. So how does the government expect them to act impartially now? Is this the way Goa is to be cleansed of the drug taint? Moves to seal Curlies appear bold because the shack owners have managed to escape such action despite being linked to drugs. The question is whether there will be a sustained drive against drug trafficking. Or is this going to be another eyewash that will deceive and distract the people of Goa?
The shack-drug-police nexus runs deep and has been flourishing for decades, and not all tourists come here for just the sea and sand. Narcotics have become an integral part of our tourism. It’s time to stop hallucinating and living in a fake reality.
Share this