sensational spy cam video after another seems to be dropping like
ripe fruit from the scandal-laden boughs of Goa Police, laying
bare a furious feud within the state police hierarchy. And the
only side to benefit from this infighting seems to be the
notorious Israeli drug mafia.
There's a pattern to the seemingly random harvest of incriminating
spy cam videos - the emerging power struggle between two groups
within the state police, with Indian Police Service (IPS) officers
on one side and senior state cadre officers backed by the local
political set-up on the other.
Three videos were uploaded on YouTube by a Swedish model, Lucky
Farmhouse, early last year, which showed her Israeli drug dealer
boyfriend Yaniv Benaim alias Atala boasting of his links with Goa
The videos triggered a potential 'heads-will-roll' scenario in
political, police and media circles here, but a series of new
videos has put a new set of heads on the chopping block.
Reportedly shot four months back by Ayala Driham and Zarina,
sister and girlfriend respectively of yet another arrested Israeli
drug dealer, David Driham alias Dudu, these new videos show police
subinspector Sunil Guddler selling charas and hashish to them.
Guddler was recently transferred from the state anti-narcotics
Guddler had last year arrested Dudu (who has also been arrested by
Mumbai Police ANC some years back) in what was hailed as one of
the biggest anti-narcotic arrests by Goa Police.
In a subsequent statement to the crime branch, Ayala claimed
Guddler wasn't acting on his own and a senior officer was
"The superior officer being referred to here (by Guddler) was
superintendent of police Shri (Veenu) Bansal. Guddler explained
that money was the only way to get to him. He then used the phrase
'Mahatma Gandhi' which I did not understand. He then took a note
from me and held it up indicating the picture of Mahatma Gandhi
which is what he used as a code for passing cash to grease the
hands of his superior officer, i.e., Bansal," Ayala told police in
her formal statement, a copy of which is available with IANS.
Bansal, the young Indian Police Service (IPS) officer in question
who headed the state ANC till a few months back, was the toast of
Goa Police for "taking on" the powerful Israeli drug mafia, before
he was transferred out.
Bansal's arrest of Dudu and several other high profile drug
dealers last year came at a time when the state ANC had nothing
much to show, barring a few run-of-the-mill raids, in the last 30
years of its existence.
The relatively overactive ANC headed by Bansal, who enjoyed the
confidence of the police top brass comprising IPS officers, had
also rubbed several state police service officials the wrong way.
The state cadre officers are a powerful lobby with considerable
political clout in the state police set-up.
The nearly one dozen state police service officials have virtually
edged out the IPS officers, including the Director General of
Police (DGP) Bhimsain Bassi and Deputy Inspector General (DIG)
Ravinder Singh Yadav. In fact, open dissent of the DGP and the DIG
by the state cadre officials in full glare of the media is not
Key encardred policing positions, including posts of district
superintendents of police (SPs) and SP Crime Branch, are headed by
the state cadre officials, which has rendered the IPS officers
virtually redundant in the hierarchy.
A skewed reward policy adopted in favour of the state cadre
officers by the Congress-led coalition government has also exposed
the government's distaste for IPS officers.
For example, awarding the chief minister's gold medal to Deputy
Superintendent of Police Chandrakant Salgaonkar, weeks after he
was severely castigated by the Panaji bench of the Bombay High
Court for dubious investigation in the police-politician-drug
mafia nexus case and direct allegations by both the Congress and
BJP leadership about his links to drug trade, has also defied
In yet another shocking incident, Atala, who was linked to Home
Minister Ravi Naik's son Roy, was found holed up in a house in the
coastal village of Siolim when he was arrested in May last year.
The house was owned by the in-laws of a state cadre
superintendent's kin. Not only was no action taken against the SP
but he was moved to a much more prestigious post later.
The saga continues.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)