Crackdown on drug menace yielding results: Chowdhary
North Goa superintendent of police Chandan Chowdhary in an interview with Amresh Parab talks about the action taken by the police against drug menace, crackdown on late night parties, involvement of locals in the trade and how effectively it can be tackled
Q: Several locals have been arrested by the Goa police in connection with drug cases. Your comments
Any kind of trade or activity cannot happen unless and until there is some sort of support from locals and some kind of involvement of locals. I will not say that there has been an increasing trend, but yes, locals are involved. There are a number of cases wherein foreigners are involved, and people from other states are also part of the drug trade.
Q: Last year two young tourists died in North Goa apparently due to drug overdose which prompted the police to intensify the drive against the menace. How far the drive has been successful?
After that incident the police intensified the drive against the drug menace, and as a result several cases were registered. In fact, the cases registered last year were three times more than the cases registered in 2016. We have continued the drive this year also. We are also developing intelligence and keeping a track of certain people against whom we have credible information.
Q: It has been said that one can witness drug pushers openly seeking out customers along the coastal belt.
That is not the case, at all. If it happens then it must be happening in a clandestine manner or in a shielded manner, but you cannot find them soliciting customers openly. If people have any specific inputs (regarding drug peddling) then they should share it with us, and we will ensure that their identity is kept secret while action is taken. Drugs are a social menace, a social problem and cannot be dealt single-handedly by the police. We can go after drug peddlers, we can register cases but that is not enough. Unless and until there is active participation of the people, active cooperation from various other agencies, it is very difficult to deal with these problems. I think schools also have to play a role. Schoolteachers should take the lead and educate students on the ill-effects of drugs.
Q: What about late night parties where music is played beyond stipulated time?
We are taking strict action as regards sound pollution. We are trying to ensure that people do not get disturbed by the music played at restaurants, pubs and bars which flout rules on sound pollution. We used to receive a lot of complaints pertaining to sound pollution (beyond 10 pm) and owing to our action such ‘nuisance’ parties have been on the decline. Areas such as Anjuna, Pernem are much quieter now.
Q: Have any specific instructions been given to restaurants, pubs and other such establishments located along the coastal belt?
Owners of restaurants, pubs and others establishments have been asked to ensure that the antecedents of their waiters and bouncers are verified. They should ensure that nobody with criminal records is employed. They must give information proactively to the police if they suspect that some customers, waiters or locals are trying to solicit customers for drugs. It will be a big help for the police if they give credible information.