Police helped Israeli drug dealer escape: Goa opposition

Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar also alleged that a key Crime Branch official, Deputy Superintendent of Police Chandrakant Salgaonkar, had facilitated Yaniv Benaim alias Atala's escape from Goa a few days after he was granted bail by a local court.

"I have prima facie evidence to prove that deputy superintendent of police (Crime Branch) had arranged for a witness to Atala," Parrikar said, adding that the witness, Prakash Maitri, had been used by the Crime Branch in more than 50 instances in other criminal cases.

"The witness was a mere puppet in the hands of the Crime Branch," Parrikar said, demanding a probe by a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer into the police-politician-drug-mafia nexus.

The international media as well as the opposition have already linked Home Minister Ravi Naik's son Roy to Atala. Naik has, however, refuted the charges.

After jumping bail in September last year, Atala was arrested in Peru in December.
Parrikar as well as state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Laxmikant Parsenkar alleged that the police were trying to cover up the drug nexus probe.

"This is a clear nexus between police and drug mafia. The government had told the high court that they will appoint IPS officer as Investigation Officer to probe this case. But later they retracted their intentions," the leader of opposition said.

The discussion on the police-politician-drug mafia nexus comes a day after Tourism Minister Nilkanth Halarnkar said Rohan Sippy's film "Dum Maaro Dum" on the drug-sex sleaze scene in Goa would paint the state in bad light.

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