Current Affairs

Apna Ghar Racket: Goa police initiate inquiry into Constable-Gangster link

Goa Police have initiated an inquiry into the alleged link of a constable with a gangster involved in smuggling juveniles from a state-run remand home. Datta Vernekar, a constable attached with Agassaim police station, had accompanied Zenito Cardoso for a press conference organised by the latter on Sunday.

The constable was reportedly holding files for the gangster ahead of the press meet in which Cardoso criticized Superintendent of Police (North) Vijay Singh who had taken action against him in connection with smuggling minors.

The inquiry was ordered soon after the media carried reports about the constable’s link with the arrested gangster who is currently out on bail. According to sources, the deputy superintendent of police (DySP) Gajanan Prabhudesai has initiated the probe into the entire incident. “We will try to find out what the constable was doing with the gangster, who is on bail,” they said.

“Zenito was arrested for allegedly smuggling children out from remand home, Apna Ghar, and making them commit crimes like theft, robbery and even murder,” a senior police officer said. Porvorim police had earlier exposed the racket, involving a caretaker of the shelter, wherein minor inmates were made to escape from Apna Ghar.

The caretaker was subsequently arrested while police are suspecting involvement of six more staffers in the crime. The role of some NGOs in connection with the entire episode has also come under a scanner and an independent inquiry is being conducted by deputy collector Levinson Martins. The inquiry report is expected to be submitted within a fortnight.

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