Weeks after Tourism Minister Mickky Pachecho called Goa the "rape capital" of India, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manohar Parrikar on Monday described the state as "a capital for drugs and criminals".
The former chief minister, who is Leader of Opposition, said the law and order situation in the state has "completely deteriorated", citing a Bangalore girl's death from drug overdose at the Sunburn Music Festival in the last week of December.
"There were direct orders from the Director General of Police's office to raid the Sunburn party venue in Candolim where drugs were flowing openly. But his orders were bypassed by his subordinates on the instructions of Home Minister Ravi Naik," Parrikar alleged.
"If the DGP is worth his salt, he should order an enquiry to find out which officer bypassed his orders," he said at a press conference here, and accused the home minister and several other police officers of involvement in ensuring that drugs were openly sold at the Sunburn party.
"A young girl has died of drug overdose. The DGP should take action against those responsible for allowing drugs at Sunburn, or he will end up being like another Rathore (referring to former Haryana police chief SPS Rathore who was convicted for molesting 15-year-old Ruchika Girhotra)," Parrikar said.
The death of 23-year-old Meha Bahuguna of drug overdose while dancing at the Sunburn Music Festival and subsequent efforts by the authorities to cover up the incident has sparked a debate in the state on whether such high-power entertainment events should be permitted at all.
Billed as Asia's biggest music festival, Sunburn Goa 2009 was in the news for the wrong reasons ranging from traffic chaos in the coastal tourism hub of Calangute-Candolim and the drug-overdose related death.