PANAJI: Days after three young tourists died in mysterious circumstances at an electronic dance music festival last week, Goa's Ports Minister Michael Lobo on Tuesday said that drug sale was rampant in Goa. He also said that peddlers offer drugs and narcotic substances to tourists, promising them a ride to heaven and back.
"The peddlers... they engage with tourists and offer to sell them drugs. Some peddlers also promise tourists drugs that will offer them a ride to heaven and back. 'You will reach the sky and come back', they say. There is need to arrest these people and Goa Police needs to act..." Lobo told reporters.
"People think that they want to dance and they will get a power to dance (using drugs). Or they think this is the end of the year and we will experience something different," Lobo also said, while explaining how tourists get sucked into purchasing drugs in Goa, which is also known as a destination for narco-tourism.
Lobo also said that if the narcotics mafia is not combated, then it would create a huge social impact in the future.
"This is a huge problem. We cannot close our eyes to this issue. It will go very far. Today, if we do not act against it, there will be a problem in the future," Lobo said, adding that only minor peddlers were being nabbed in police raids and the "big fish" seemed to be routinely skipping the police net. "We have to break their backbone," he said.
Lobo also said that many Goans were also involved in drug trade and called for a social awakening to curb the menace.
"Every citizen has a responsibility to ensure that their relatives stay away from drugs. Many Goans are involved in drug (trade)," Lobo said.
Goa Inspector General of Police Jaspal Singh on Tuesday said that drugs were not freely available in Goa.
The Opposition has also demanded resignation of Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar over the death of three youngsters at the Sunburn Klassique EDM festival, which concluded on Sunday (Dec 29), claiming the three died due to drug abuse.
A post-mortem has been unable to identify the cause of death and police have sent viscera samples drawn from the remains of the deceased for further forensic analysis.