With Roy Naik’s induction in BJP; Goa’s infamous police drug-peddler nexus comes full circle

Published on Aug 08, 2020 11:18 PM IST

In 2010, the BJP in Goa had tried to move an adjournment motion in the assembly to discuss the alleged involvement of Roy Naik, the younger son of the state’s former Home Minister Ravi Naik, in drug trade.

Former Congressmen Roy Ravi Naik and his brother Ritesh joining the BJP in Panaji on Thursday.(https://twitter.com/BJP4Goa)
Former Congressmen Roy Ravi Naik and his brother Ritesh joining the BJP in Panaji on Thursday.(https://twitter.com/BJP4Goa)
Hindustan Times, Panaji | ByGerard de Souza

August 3, 2010. The monsoon session of the Goa Legislative Assembly was at its height and the Digambar Kamat led government was proposing government demands for the approval of the House.

The then leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar had just moved in an adjournment motion which was promptly rejected by the Speaker.

Eager to make his point the opposition benches led by Parrikar stormed the well of the House forcing the adjournment of the house not once, but twice.

The reason? A day earlier (August 2, 2010) the mother of Scarlett Keeling the British teenager found naked and dead on the Anjuna beach in Goa had deposed before the Children’s Court in Goa that Roy Naik, the younger son of the then Home Minister Ravi Naik was among those who gave her daughter drugs resulting in an international scandal and pushed the Congress-led government on the backfoot.

“There is a direct allegation against the Home Minister of the State. We want a CBI inquiry,” Parrikar had loudly insisted after the motion was turned down.

Fast forward to August 6, 2020, and Roy Naik was welcomed into the BJP along with his elder brother Ritesh. Damodar Naik, a former BJP MLA, who was the first to the well of the house to force an adjournment demanding an inquiry against Roy was now the host of the welcome ceremony.

State BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade feigned ignorance when asked about the party’s duplicity in welcoming the same Roy into the party fold.

“There are so many Roys. This is Roy Ravi Naik. Our party has never made any allegation against Roy Ravi Naik, if you have the proof, please show me. Then I will speak,” Tanavade told reporters at the ceremony without flinching.

But the irony was not lost on former minister Mickky Pacheco who headed a house committee set up by Parrikar after the BJP came to power in 2012.

“I confirm that it’s Roy Naik the son of former Home Minister and present Ponda legislator Ravi Naik, who was involved in the drug trade. While investigating cases (as house committee chairman) it came to light that Roy Naik, was involved in the drug trade. A 25-page report was submitted to the house (in 2012),” Pacheco said.

The report Pacheco authored was not formally accepted by the government after two members of the committee both from the BJP refused to sign it. Curiously the non-BJP members of the house committee gave it their assent.

As recently as 2018, Roy was being probed by a special investigation team of Goa Police for his alleged involvement in the nexus between Goa Police officials and drug dealers. The probe however remained inconclusive with officials claiming that there wasn’t enough evidence to indict the former home minister or his son.

Roy had denied any involvement with any drug nexus.

“I have absolutely no nexus with any drug dealing nor have I ever met Atala or his friend Lucky Farmhouse,” Naik had said back in 2010. He did not respond to phone calls or text messages send by this correspondent.

The Congress put on a bright face with the departure of the two sons of the current MLA. “The pandemic has resulted in a cleaner environment. [A] bright future for INC-Goa [is] clearly visible. Insecurity is rife in BJP... Goans will explain in 2022,” state Congress president Girish Chodankar, said.

In an interview with an Israeli newspaper Lucky Mangrada, a former girlfriend of alleged drug dealer Yaniv Benaim alias Atala had claimed that Roy would regularly visit her boyfriend besides also accusing several Goa policemen of being in cahoots with drug dealers. Upon his arrest Atala also later confessed the police would sell seized drugs back into the market.

The revelations sparked a scandal that led to the arrest of seven policemen including the then head of the Anti Narcotics Cell of the Goa Police. The arrested cops have since been reinstated, completing the circle.

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