Panaji (Goa) [India], October 4 (ANI): Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar on Monday stressed that strict action would be taken against tourists who would be found consuming drugs in the state.
"We do not want people who take drugs. The government will take strict action against tourists if they are found consuming drugs," the minister said on the sidelines of a government event when asked to comment on how the Tourism Ministry planned to thwart tourists coming to Goa with or for the purpose of drug consumption.
He further said the state government has been diligent in cracking down drug consumption by tourists adding that the reins of drug control rests with the Home department only.
His statement comes after Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan was sent into three-day Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) custody along with seven others in connection drugs seizure on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast.
An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on October 2 night. Eight persons were detained for questioning by the NCB in connection with the drug seizure on the cruise ship, according to NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede. All of the eight persons were later arrested on October 3.
All eight accused including Aryan Khan, Arbaz Seth Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Vikrant Chhoker, Ismeet Singh, Nupur Sarika, Gomit Chopra and Mohak Jaswal were produced before Mumbai's Esplanade Court which remanded them to NCB custody till October 7.
As per the NCB, three persons including Aryan Khan, Arbaz Seth Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha have been booked under Section 8C, 20B, 27 (Punishment for consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance) and 35 (Presumption of culpable mental state) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act).
8C of NDPS Act refers to prohibition to produce, manufacture, possess, sell, purchase, transport, warehouse, use, consume, import inter-State, export inter-State, import into India, export from India or tranship any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance while Section 20B deals with punishment for producing, manufacturing, possessing, selling, purchasing, transportation, imports inter-State, exports inter-State or use of cannabis.
Satish Maneshinde, the lawyer arguing in defence of Aryan Khan said in the Court, "Accused number 1, Aryan Khan was invited for the cruise party. However, he did not have a boarding pass. He didn't have any seat or cabin there. Secondly, according to the seizure, nothing has been found in his possession. He is arrested only based on chats."
Other accused in the case include Nupur Satija, Ishmeet Singh Chadha, Mohak Jaiswal, Gomit Chopra and Vikrant Chhokar. (ANI)