Parrikar mum about minister's attack on policeman

Panaji, Aug 12 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Monday declined to comment on a minister's outburst against an IPS officer who was termed a "goonda (goon)" for raiding drug-laced rave parties.

Asked to respond to Art and Culture Minister Dayanand Mandrekar's controversial statement through the weekend, Parrikar first refused to comment, but when reporters insisted on a reaction, said: "You can say that he (Parrikar) smiled".

He was confronted by the media on the issue, at the fag end of a media interaction following a meeting of industrialists and government officials.

Mandrekar had criticised Vijay Singh, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer for cracking down on rave parties within his jurisdiction.

"He was SP (superintendent of police) North. He should have stayed in his office in Porvorim. What was his motive to come to the beaches acting like a 'goonda' during raids? It was not becoming of him," Mandrekar said.

As SP of Goa's north district last year, Singh had raided several beach shacks notorious for drug trafficking and rave parties.

Mandrekar, incidentally speaking during the inauguration of the coastal security police station at Chapora late Friday afternoon, also blamed the officer for what he called a dip in coastal tourism because of the anti-narcotic raids.

"The beach parties stopped and the tourism in the area went down," said Mandrekar, who has been a constant fixture in the cabinet ever since 2002.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party and Parrikar have been mum on Mandrekar's comments, both the Congress as well as the Nationalist Congress Party have lambasted the government for failing to act against the minister.

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