‘Udta Jammu’ in the making!

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Aug 19: There has been an alarming rise in drug trafficking in the State for last over three years and it has been a cause of concern for the people as large number of youth are falling prey to drug menace day by day due to the weak policies of the Government and its failure to take punitive action against the drug traffickers.
The survey conducted by Excelsior revealed that the drug menace is not confined to a single part of the State but it has spread its tentacles to entire Jammu and Kashmir now with more and more youth being lured by the mafia groups to become habitual drug addicts.
Sources said that huge quantity of narcotics has been seized from the vehicles involved in cross-LoC trade and this is a great cause of worry for the masses. To detect the smuggling of narcotics from across the border, the Government has failed to install scanners to check the vehicles coming across the LoC, sources added.
Sources said that the narcotics are either smuggled from border districts or the neighboring States while in some cases it is smuggled from Kashmir valley.
According to SSP Udhampur, Rayees Ahmed Bhat, the drugs are sold in a low quality of one or two grams in the area which is very difficult to detect.
He said some narcotics are smuggled from Kashmir valley to Jammu region like Bhukki (poppy straw), heroin is smuggled from Punjab and other border areas including Uri. Last year alone 50 to 60 cases under NDPS were registered in Udhampur and this year the number is almost the same, he added.
According to SSP Jammu, Vivek Gupta every second day police registers FIRs under NDPS Act. He said the narcotics are mainly smuggled from across the border via border districts like Poonch and Kupwara in Kashmir valley. In some cases the narcotics are smuggled from Punjab borders also, he added.
SSP Kathua, Shridhar Patel is also of the same opinion. He said two to three cases are registered every day in Kathua district with regard to NDPS. He said the drug is smuggled in small quantities from two to three grams or five grams. It is mainly smuggled in the district from Punjab or bordering State of Himachal Pradesh. The police has established the Drug De-addiction Centers to treat the drug addicts. “We are also seeking the help of doctors and councilors in this regard”, he added.
He said money is also involved in this trade and over 50 drug peddlers were arrested by the police so far in the district.
SSP Rajouri, Yugal Manhas said that narcotics in twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri come from across LoC to be supplied in other parts of the State. He said some drugs come from Jammu while charas and opium come from Kashmir. The heroin is being smuggled across the LoC.
He said 54 cases were registered last year and some drug addicts were sent to Drug de-Addiction centers for treatment also.
SSP Poonch, Rajeev Pandey said that the police has launched a vigorous campaign against the drug addiction in the district and the success rate is encouraging in this regard.
Another police officers said they were doing best to curb the menace. He said so far 95 NDPS cases have been registered in Samba district alone.
He said police is on lookout to trace the ultimate source of supply where from narcotics are pumped in the State. The maximum supply comes from Kashmir valley and police is maintaining a constant vigil to curb the movement of drug peddlers in the district. There has been lot of change in Samba as people of the district fully cooperate with the police, he added.
He said the narcotics seized at Ghagwal Naka last year was smuggled from Punjab. Seeking full cooperation of people to eradicate the drug menace, he said the issue of drug abuse is not confined to a district but it is a universal problem.
The alarming rise in the narcotics trade in the State can be gauged from the fact that recently Jammu and Kathua Police as well as Excise Department seized 51 kgs of high grade heroin smuggled from Afghanistan at Jammu valuing Rs 250 crore while on next day the Lakhanpur Police and Excise Department seized 45 kgs of chars valuing Rs one crore.
Even on August 11, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 627 grams of heroin in Srinagar which was smuggled from Pakistan and was to be transported to Punjab. This was followed by another seizure of 190 kgs of poppy Husk by Excise Department and Lakhanpur Police at Toll Post Lakhanpur on August 12.
As per data available with the State police, 19,500 patients were treated in the OPDs of Drug De-addiction Centres in the State among them 6000 were treated in Jammu centers alone. It further revealed that 2000 drug addicts were admitted in the Srinagar centers and 2000 in Jammu centers for treatment.
To treat the drug addicts Police has opened nine Drug De-addiction Centers all over the State in the districts of Srinagar, Baramulla, Jammu, Udhampur, Kathua, Poonch, Doda and Budgam. The Srinagar Drug De-addiction Centre has been set up in 2008 while the Jammu Centre was established in 2013, official sources said.
Sources said, to eradicate the menace from the State, the police under Preventive Action has slapped PSA on 12 drug peddlers in 2016-17while 769 cases were registered against them in the State during this period. Besides, 868 drug peddlers were arrested. It said that 170 kgs of heroin , 15 kgs of Brown Sugar, 7000 kgs of poppy straw, 25000 intoxicating capsules and Corex bottles in thousands were seized throughout the State during this period.
Though police claims of attaining 90 percent success in treating the drug addicts in the De-addiction Centers of the State and taking various preventive measures against the menace, the alarming rise in drug addiction continues to add to the woes of the parents of the youth.
Sources said the modus operandi adopted by the drug traffickers to involve more youth in the State to spoil them is that they sell the contraband in different parts of the State in small quantities from two to five grams which is very difficult for police to detect.
However, on ground it seems that no effective steps were taken to stem the drug abuse from the rot to save the youth from falling a prey to this dreaded menace.
The people termed it a big conspiracy to spoil the youth of the State by pumping the narcotics from across the border and other countries. Some people apprehend that the supply comes from Pakistan and its alarming rise was after the opening of cross-LoC trade.
They were of the opinion that till hard steps are taken by the Government, it will not be possible to curb this menace.
As per reports, recently two youth died of drug addiction in Nagrota area while another youth from Jagti died at Srinagar. In case the Government failed to curb this menace and take drastic action against the drug peddlers it will spoil the youth who are the future of the nation and the State, is the general public opinion.