Goa Congress
Fruit vendors in Sanquelim welcoming Congress leader Pratapsingh RaneGoa Congress Twitter

Criticising the BJP-led coalition government for not cracking down on a ketamine factory in north Goa, Congress leader Pratapsingh Rane on Tuesday said if drug trade is not curbed, the coastal state would soon become "Udta Goa".

"People from the Centre came and confiscated all the drugs. Are we protecting some people?... Is Goa also going to be 'Udta Goa'?" he said in the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Goa Assembly, referring to the Shahid Kapoor-starrer film 2016 'Udta Punjab', which highlighted the issue of drug addiction in Punjab.

"Are we going to make drugs available and allow people who are behind it go scot-free?" asked the former Chief Minister.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), a central agency, in a three-day operation codenamed 'Operation Vitamin' busted an international drug syndicate in June, seizing 308 kg ketamine, including two tons of raw material at various sites in Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, arresting 10 persons including two from Britain and one from Vietnam.

Used as a tranquilizer for veterinary purposes, ketamine is a common party drug and is known for its hallucinatory effects and is also referred to as a "date-rape drug".

Manohar Parrikar
Goa CM Manohar ParrikarReuters

Nearly 100 kg ketamine and raw material used to manufacture the drug was also found at Goa BJP officer bearer Vasudev Parab's industrial unit, which was used by NRI Jimi Sandhu to manufacture ketamine.

While state BJP President Vinay Tendulkar has maintained that Parab had nothing to do with the drug trade, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has refused to sanction a state police probe into the affair.

Rane slammed the state government for not taking a swift action against Parab.

"What action has been taken against the man in whose industry 100 kg of this drug was found? As per the NDPS act, the punishment (for this crime) is 10 years in jail. The man is moving around scot-free," he said.