Music festivals go with drugs: Goa minister

Music festivals go with drugs: Goa minister

Music festivals go with drugs: Goa minister

Against the backdrop of drugs seizure at the popular Sunburn festival in Goa, state Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar admitted that revellers consume drugs during such events and said organisers cannot be blamed as "people come to enjoy".

A youth from Chhattisgarh was arrested yesterday for possessing drugs inside the Sunburn festival venue.

"Music revellers feel that musical parties like Sunburn cannot be enjoyed without consuming alcohol and drugs," Parulekar told reporters last evening on the sidelines of India travel mart-Goa in Panaji.

The tourism minister further said, "Drugs are freely available all over the world and Goa is not an exception."

Despite the music festival being declared a 'no drugs zone', the banned substance was openly sold and consumed at the venue, he said.

"You cannot blame the organisers, people come there to enjoy," Parulekar said.

The Sunburn festival is expecting more than one lakh footfalls during the three-day event.

State police have put up various guidelines including CCTV cameras and are conducting strict frisking of the revellers entering the venue.

A resident of Raipur in Chhattisgarh was yesterday arrested from the Sunburn venue by Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) during their raid at the festival, which is underway at Vagator since Thursday. 

Meanwhile, former tourism minister Francisco Micky Pacheco demanded explanation on Parulekar's statement from the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

"Chief Minister, as the Home Minister, should clarify his stand on the entire drugs issue. His own tourism minister has been supporting drugs," Pacheco said here.

Pacheco heads a Goa Assembly's committee on the alleged nexus between drugs mafia, police and politicians in the coastal state.

Calling Parulekar's statement that drugs are openly available across the world and Goa cannot be an exception as "highly condemnable", Pacheco said, "The minister has been travelling across globe at the cost of state exchequer to promote tourism. We never realised that he was there to support drugs."

Chief Minister Parrikar was not available for comments.

Pacheco also said that the statement by the minister and government's silence on the issue created doubts as to whether the house committee's report would be accepted.

Pacheco's Goa Vikas Party supports the BJP government in the state. He said that the party will review it's support to the government.

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