Top police bosses must take it up as a professional challenge
CHIEF Minister Pramod Sawant’s candid statement that the Goa police have failed to get the suppliers of narcotic drugs to the state in their net has only given official credence to what was publicly obvious. The one reason why drug trade has been rising in the state is that the persons caught by the police are usually small fries. They might be a Goan from a school or college or a dropout who would be doing this for a ‘good amount of money’ (from his or her point of view). Or they might be a restaurant waiter from outside the state. These small fries, even when they are caught, get away by saying that they have no idea who the suppliers of drugs were. No wonder, though the number of cases in which drugs were seized has been growing – 168 in 2017, 222 in 2018, and 114 till June 2019 – the police do not have any clues about the suppliers.
Charas and ganja have become the two main drugs sold in Goa. The police have the means to track down the suppliers to Goa. It is simply unbelievable that the police have not been able to trace the network till the entry points of Goa. Who first receives the supplies from outside the state? Surely, drugs come in large quantities to a few in Goa who then use small people to distribute it. Thousands of people from other states do not come with small amounts of narcotic drugs in their satchels or pockets. The people who deliver them are residing in Goa. How is it possible that the police are unable to find out who the main suppliers are within the borders of Goa? If the state police want they can find out who are the suppliers in other states too. Fighting drugs is a national mission; every state government is engaged in it. Information on drugs is exchanged between states.
If the main persons in the state’s drug trade are caught, the state police would have cut the mainsprings of the illicit trade network. The fact that they have not done it so far raises suspicions about their intentions in the worst case or raises questions about their professional expertise in the best case. The state police bosses must take up Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s statement as a challenge and track down the suppliers to disrupt and finally destroy the drug networks. Otherwise, drug trade will only go on flourishing. Now drugs are not only brought into the state, but they are produced here too. Few cases of ganja and cannabis cultivation are just the tip of the iceberg. Sawant mentioned in the Assembly that ganja was cultivated in parts of neighbouring states close to the state border. Cultivation of drugs suggests the ‘confidence’ the drug traders have gained as a result of the Goa police failure to demolish their networks and choke their trade. Cultivation is one step higher in their business. The police have failed to see this next stage in the drug trade. The trade will soon go out of their hands if they do not act to destroy the networks. The top police bosses have to post only such officers in police stations that are committed to combating drug trade honestly and zealously. The performance of most of the police stations in the coastal belt in fighting drug trade has been questionable.
That there is big money involved in drug trade can be made out from the fact that one of the migrants staying illegally at the Campal parade ground in Panaji from where a huge quantity of ganja in satchets was seized had booked a flat worth Rs 40 lakh. Arrest in a drug case does not matter much to such persons, as a person who carries small and consumable quantity can get out within a day or two and engage in the business once again. That is why it is important that the police chart out a mission to destroy the drug networks by tracking down the suppliers. If the police go on catching small fries they will be only improving their service records and strengthening the drug networks.