An illegal gambling activity, also known as MATKA, is once again in the limelight in the state of Goa, but this time with bigger controversy. People talk about the police, politician nexus with gambling dons in a discreet manner, but this time the issue has gone one step ahead with the reports of FIR against the Politicians and Police in illegal gambling operations in Goa. According to the news published by IANS news agency, it has been exposed that Politicians, Police, Few Newspapers and around 1100 matka bookies are involved and supporting these illegal activities and the entire operation is handled by the mastermind sitting in Gujarat.
According to the sources, the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court has instructed the crime branch Goa to file FIR (First Information Report) against the Politicians, Police officials, two newspapers and Matka bookies in Goa. The high court had taken this step following the petition filed by social activist Kashinath Shetye and four others. In the petition, Kashinath Shetye had pleaded that police should probe into the politician, police and matka operator nexus which is flourishing in Goa. Matka is supposed to be the illegal form of lottery format gambling which is played across the state of Goa openly.
Matka, which was started in India post-independence, is a form of an illegal lottery which is originated through the betting on an opening and closing rates of cotton which was transmitted from the New York Cotton Exchange. Initially, it was known as Satta or ‘Ankada Jugar’ (Gambling of Figures). Later in 1960 the system was replaced by the numerous ways of generating random numbers, such as pulling cards out from the earthen pot known as matka. From its inception, the main hub of Matka always remains the Mumbai. Since it was originated there and two major players known as matka king, namely, Ratan Khatri and Kalyan Bhagat who started this game in 1960 in Mumbai which was subsequently spread across the nation through the way of syndicate.
The quantum of the popularity of this game can be judged through the amount of betting is done on a daily basis in Goa which is touching to several thousand crores of rupees. The major recognition of this game is one can bet as low as Rs. 1. The issue of legislator involvement came into light when some of them had demanded to legalize this illegal game in Goa on the pretext of revenue generation for the government coffers. According to the police sources an estimated annual turnover of matka industry in the three states combined sums up to whopping Rs. 10 thousand crores.
The petitioner had argued in the court that the Matka has become the regular source of income to the police as they allow this illegal activity by collecting hafta. According the sources, the crime branch has now filed the FIR against the politician named Kiran, other politicians and Gujrat based matka, operators. The FIR also features the name of matka operator named Parekh alias Budo from Goa. FIR also includes 1100 Matka bookies, two newspapers that used to carry the matka results, which according to the petitioner is against the law. The high court has directed the crime branch to file the status report on the action taken against the matka operations every six months.
Who in the state is not aware of the matka being played at every nook and corner of Goa? But the fact is it runs very smoothly and right under the nose of government, police and judiciary system. Making the matka legal and collecting the revenue for the government can convert the matka into the legal form of business? Finally, what is legal and illegal? Whatever done as per the guidelines set by the government is legal? Are casinos legal? Is the lottery legal? The intervention of high court in this matter will help to stop the matka business in Goa? Or it will become more discreet and more money making business for the police who collects hafta? The readers are the best judge, Please go ahead and leave your suggestions, feedback and comments on this issue.
Edited by Goa Prism News Desk