Panaji: The arrest of Kapil Jhaveri, a small-time Bollywood actor and the director of a co-operative society, at a rave party in a North Goa beach village on Sunday has become a cause of embarrassment for the ruling political establishment in Goa.
After photos of Jhaveri’s meetings with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and state Co-operation Minister Govind Gaude went viral on social media on Monday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the photo may have been taken during a courtesy meeting between Jhaveri and him last year, soon after he had taken over as the state’s CM.
“With respect to the pictures circulating on various media platforms of CM Pramod Sawant meeting Bollywood actor Kapil Jhaveri, it is informed that the said picture may have been of a courtesy call last year by Kapil Jhaveri, after the CM had taken over. A large number of persons called on the CM then,” a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) late on Monday said.
The statement also said that the BJP-led coalition government had a “zero tolerance” policy towards drug trafficking.
Earlier, Co-operation Minister Gaude also tweeted saying Jhaveri, who has been remanded to five days police custody, had met him after a formal appointment.
“My photo alongside Kapil Jhaveri is being made viral with false information. He had sought an appointment to invite me for the inauguration of a branch of a credit society. As Minister of Co-operation, I refrain from any act of endorsement. I had refused the invitation on these grounds,” Gaude tweeted.
The meeting, Gaude said, had occurred three months ago and had lasted for a few minutes.
Gaude told reporters that he is a “public figure” and many people come to meet him and there is no scope of examining everyone’s background.
“I have spoken to the Chief Minister. He has informed me that the police have been given a free hand to investigate the case. It is my prime duty to cooperate with the police,” Gaude said.
Jhaveri is the director of a multi-state co-operative society and has also acted in films like Salman Khan-starrer “Saawan — The Love Season” (2006) and “Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya” (2003), among others.
Jhaveri is one of the 23 persons arrested by the Crime Branch of the Goa Police for participating in a ‘by invite-only’ rave party at the beach village of Anjuna in the early hours of Sunday. Drugs worth approximately Rs 9 lakh were also seized.