Goa Congress, BJP spar over DRI raid on illegal ketamine unit

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Panaji, June 12 (IANS) A raid by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials on an industrial unit in North Goa’s Bicholim sub-district in the wee hours of Tuesday and confiscation of ketamine, a banned party drug, has triggered a war of words between the Congress and the ruling BJP in Goa.

The Congress alleged that the industrial unit, which was raided for illegal manufacture of ketamine, is operated by a state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary, but the BJP rejected the allegation, calling it “foolish and baseless”.

“The factory owner is one of the leading figures in BJP and is influential in the area, due to the support he has been getting from his mentors in Panaji.

“The seizure has clearly exposed his nexus with the drug lobby in the state, which has percolated down to the villages from its traditional bastion of tourist-frequented coastline,” state Congress chief Girish Chodankar alleged in a statement issued late on Tuesday.

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Chodankar said the BJP-led coalition government in Goa has never been keen on cracking down on the drug menace in the coastal state.

The DRI officials have been tight-lipped about the Tuesday’s raid, which lasted several hours.

The BJP, however, in a strong rebuttal called the allegations made by Chodankar as “foolish and baseless”.

“That is a ridiculous statement by Congress party. Neither BJP nor its officials are involved in such activity. The Congress is in the habit of making such scandalous and unsubstantiated allegations. It is foolish and baseless,” BJP’s South Goa MP Narendra Savoikar told reporters.



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