Goa minister, police going soft on drug dealer: BJP


Panaji: Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik and police are responsible for Israeli drug dealer Yaniv Benaim alias Atala getting bail due to lack of evidence, the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) said Wednesday.

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Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson Rajendra Arlekar said that police and a cabinet minister were protecting Atala, who has been accused of having links with a cabinet minister’s son.

The BJP has already said that it will reveal the name of the minister concerned, in the forthcoming legislative assembly session, scheduled next month.

“We feel sad and shocked that Atala has been released on conditional bail because of lack of evidence. The police simply do not want to investigate the case. They have not even tried to meet the key witness in the case,” Arlekar said, adding that people were beginning to lose faith in police.

“Even the court (Panaji bench of the Bombay High court) has censured the shoddy police investigations in the Atala case. The police simply are not learning any lessons,” Arlekar said.

“It is obvious that the police are under political pressure, since a senior politician’s son is involved in the drug nexus,” Arlekar said.

After Atala was released on bail by a trial court Tuesday, police have begun blaming the key witness and ex-girl friend of Atala, Lucky Farmhouse.

Her secretly shot spycam videos of the drug dealer boasting of his links with police and politicians have resulted in the arrest of seven policemen linked to the drug mafia in the state.

Lucky, a model by profession, who posted several of Atala’s videos on Youtube, had also alleged that she had evidence to show that a politician’s son was linked to the drug mafia in Goa.

Lucky, who was in Mumbai for a commercial shoot last month, had recently posted on her blog that police were not trying to make any efforts to contact her because they did not want the minister’s son to be caught.