In the backdrop of allegations of police-drug peddler nexus in the state, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in a letter written to all the legislators has asked them to desist from making statements which are demoralising for the police force.
Parrikar has said that any information about the drug activity in the state known to the legislators should be informed to him so that strict action can be initiated. Congress party has taken strong objection to Parrikar’s letter claiming it as “censorship on the MLAs.” “It has been observed that some of the MLA’s are making public statements regarding availability of drugs and nexus between the drug peddlers and some police officials,” the chief minister has said in a letter, copy of which is with PTI.
Parrikar has said that such a public statements lead to dampening of the morale of police force, unwarranted sensationalism, dent in the image of the state, and does not help us resolve the issue as criminals are made alert by such statements. “Given the sensitive nature of the issue and firm resolution of the state government to make Goa a drug free state, it is requested that such information about drugs or related activities be brought to the notice of the undersigned, so as to jointly fight this menace,” he said in the signed letter. “I assure you that due cognizance and strict action will be taken on every such issue brought to the notice of the undersigned,” he added.
Meanwhile, Congress has criticised the letter expressing surprise that Parrikar should issue a censorship order against his own MLAs restraining them from criticising the policemen in Goa on drugs issue. Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Shantaram Naik said he is also of the opinion that Goa policemen should be encouraged to raid the dens of drug peddlers as they are a menace to the society. “But CM writing a note on his file asking his MLAs restraining from exercising their democratic rights of free speech is yet another example of fascism that BJP Government in Goa seeks to implement through back door,” he added.
The Congress leader said he has high regard for Goa Police force but CMs order will be embarrassing to even police force which will not prefer an arbitrary protection of the type CM wants to give them, to the detriment of right of free speech of elected members.