Panaji: Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar Tuesday promised free passes as well as authority to journalists to snoop around music festival venues for drug use, and said police were not able to tackle the drug mafia in the state.
Addressing a press conference, Parulekar said he had no way of knowing the extent of the drug menace and availability of narcotics in Goa because he rarely stepped out of his office.
"This time I will give a pass to every journalist. Everyone should go and probe if something happens there. I will act on it," Parulekar said.
The opposition over the last few days have alleged drugs would be sold at many music festivals scheduled to be held in the state in the forthcoming week.
"I am openly saying this in front of the print media and (television) channels. I appeal to all to inform us if someone is selling or using drugs (at the music festival venues). I promise if something happens, such parties will never be allowed," he said.
The tourism minister also exhorted the television media to snoop on music festival grounds to gather evidence about drug sellers or users.
"If drugs are sold, it is the job of the police, as well as of our journalist brothers (to stop it). It may not be possible for the print media, but for the electronic media it should be possible," he said.
The minister said he was unable to gauge the extent of the drug menace in Goa, because his brief as a minister limited his movements.
"I sit in my chamber, how will I know? I am also not a part of the drug trade to know all this," he said, exhorting citizens to come forward with information to bust the drug menace.
Parulekar said police were not doing enough to curb the menace. "They are falling short."
Goa is a leading beach tourism as well as a party destination in the country. The state also has a reputation of being a cheap narco-touism destination.