"Drugs in Goa due to political patronage"


Goa, the state on the south western coast of India, famous as the most sought after tourist destination, could be paying too heavy a price for tourism. The influx of drugs from different quarters and the growing menace by "poor tourists" are the reasons for increased rate of crime, in the region. The question is how drugs continue to create havoc in Goa and negatively affect the lives of local Goans. According to Washington Post, Goa's narcotics trade is worth about $950 million a year. Is the nexus between politicians, police and drug dealers has a role to play in the continuous influx of drugs?

Democracy News Live reporter Shruti Sharma got the answers from Glenn Costa, journalist, covering crime and politics, in Goa. According to Costa, drugs have permeated in school, colleges and in the cities in Goa and the amount of drugs that are being caught is very small in comparison to what is out there in the market. Big and small time drug dealers are released easily, an indicator of patronage from the politicians and the police.

Glenn also talks about how tourist backlash has it's roots in the growing menace, created by those who influx the region but do not benefit it economically. These are in major part domestic tourists who cook and prepare their own food while living on the streets. Recently, the disappointment was also voiced by the Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, on behalf of the Goans, calling this section of the tourists as "scum of earth".

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