A First Information Report (FIR) against Goa politicians has been filed by the Goa Police Crime Branch on Monday. The FIR was filed after the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court received a petition by five activists, including Kashinath Shetye.
In Goa, there are a lot of incidences where matka, a form of lottery gambling, is played. Matka is illegal and yet it has been alleged that police, matka operators and politicians may all be involved in running the matka lottery. Those who petitioned the court stated that matka gambling has continued in the Goa since it is a regular source for police extortion.
Police have estimated that the matka industry in Goa, Gujarat, and Maharashtra, have a combined annual turnover of approximately Rs 10,000 crore. There have been many who have campaigned to legalize matka gambling with the reasoning that it is taking place anyway, and legalizing it will benefit the government by generating a large amount of extra revenue.
Matka is popular over a wide range of lottery players since bets range from very small bets to very large bets. Matka’s lucky numbers are generated twice each day, with the lottery running six days a week. Matka has been played in the Mumbai and Konkan region for over 40 years.
The FIR that the crime branch filed has named politicians, a number of policemen, newspapers that illegally show the matka lottery results, and the matka operators that are located in Gujarat, the hub of the matka gambling operations. In addition to this, about 1,100 matka bookies have also been named.
At this time, the High Court has asked the special police crime branch to ensure that it filed a status report every six months. The status report will outline all the steps that have been taken with regards to the illegal gambling operations.