HM behind smuggling of narcotics, Pak link established: Sinha

‘Adequate security for yatra’
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, June 24: Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu Zone, MK Sinha said today that Hizbul Mujahideen terror group was behind the smuggling of narcotic substance from across the border as he announced the arrest of a smuggler and recovery of 12 kilograms of heroin near the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district.
Mohammad Altaf alias `Hafiz’, a resident of Behrouti Kanga village in Balakote area of Mendhar sector, was arrested following interrogation of his two associates who were nabbed here last month along with 260 grams of heroin and over Rs 12 lakh cash, Sinha told reporters here this evening.
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SSP Jammu Tejender Singh and SP City (North) Amritpal Singh were also present at the press conference. City police teams headed by SDPO City Jaswant Singh worked out the case along with other members under the supervision of the SP City.
Sinha said four accounts of one of the three arrested narcotic smugglers were frozen and further investigation was on.
“The interrogation of the arrested smugglers revealed that there is a nexus between Hizbul Mujahideen militants who are Pakistan trained and presently living there with narco smugglers who are living on this side of the border.
“Hizbul Mujahideen is smuggling the narcotic substance through its conduits into the country,” he said adding “at the moment we are still investigating and trying to study as to how the money is circulated and where it is being used.”
On May 27, the Jammu Police chief said two narcotic smugglers –Fayaz Ahmad Dar of Bijbehara (Anantnag) and Arshad Ahmad of Shopian — were arrested b y a police party on a specific information from Vivekanand Chowk in Jammu and seized over Rs 12 lakh and 260 grams of heroin from them.
“A five member special investigation team headed by SP North Amrit Pal Singh was constituted and during sustained interrogation, Arshid broke down and named Hafiz who is actually receiving the consignment at the zero line in his village and smuggling the same into India,” the IGP said.
He said Hafiz was arrested on June 21 and at his disclosure, 12 kilograms of heroin was recovered from his village on Sunday.
“Fayaz had gone across in January 2018 to meet his brother Ayaz, who is a Pakistan trained militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, who had exfiltrated to Pakistan after remaining active for many years and is presently putting up in Rawalpindi.
“During the visit, he introduced his brother (Fayaz) to another Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Aijaz who was also living in Rawalpindi and was in contact with conduits smuggling narcotics into Jammu and Kashmir,” Sinha said.
He said Arshid was being given contact and was being directed from across as to where the consignment is being sent, how to receive the consignments and whom to deliver.
“There are two threads involved- one of the threads has been worked out with the arrest of Altaf from Balakote in Poonch district but the other thread which is based in the Valley is still being worked on and we are investigating that,” he said refusing to divulge any further details.
Highlighting achievements against its drive to wipe out the menace of drugs, the IGP Jammu said so far 454 drug peddlers were arrested this year and 341 cases under NDPS Act registered against 302 arrests and 231 cases during the same period last year.
On recoveries of narcotic substances this year, he said 57 kgs of heroin, 5035 kgs of poppy straw, 111 kgs of Charas and 15,676 bottles of banned Corex were seized so far.
The recovery and arrest have shown manifold increase compared to first half of last year when 31 kgs of heroin, 31 kgs of charas, 1914 bottles of Corex and 1672 kgs of poppy straw were seized.
Sinha said the trend analysis revealed that while charas, heroin and other contraband substances are being smuggled out, corex and other psychotropic drugs are coming into the State from Delhi and Punjab.
Replying to a question on security arrangements for Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage, Sinha said additional Central paramilitary forces have been made available to Jammu and Kashmir this year to ensure peaceful pilgrimage to the 3,880 meters high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, scheduled to begin on July 1.
Sinha said the availability of more security forces compared to previous years has resulted in strengthening of Counter-Infiltration Grid, deployment of Road Opening Parties all along the highway and strengthening of the security around camps housing the pilgrims.
He also said six special teams comprising police, SDRF and Magistrates would be deployed in landslide prone areas along Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in Ramban district to ensure minimum disruption during the yatra.
“Though there is no specific input about threat to the yatra, all necessary security arrangements are in place as the sensitivity increases during the pilgrimage. We have got additional Central paramilitary forces this time compared to previous years and have accordingly made foolproof arrangements,” Sinha said.
He said two companies of BSF were inducted and deployed with border police who are in the third tier in the Counter-Infiltration Grid along the International Border to augment security and ensure adequate manpower to guard the border roads linking with the highway from Lakhanpur to Jammu.
“The yatra crosses five districts of Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu region covering a total distance of 268-kms. The whole highway has been divided into different zones and sectors for better security,” he said adding each zone will be headed by a Superintendent of Police, while non-gazetted police officers will be responsible for the security in assigned sectors.
“The highway check posts have been increased and the laterals connecting with the highway will be manned and no one will be allowed on the highway from there during the movement of the pilgrims,” he said.
He said the pilgrim camps, registration centres and community kitchens will be guarded round-the-clock.
“In fact, the langar (community kitchen) operators were given conditional permission that they will install CCTV cameras and ensure proper lighting arrangement in the peripheral areas of their camping site as part of the enhanced security arrangement,” the IGP said.
In response to a question, Sinha said at least 10 local terrorists, mostly belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, are active in Kishtwar district.
“A total of 10 terrorists — eight belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen and two to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) are active in Kishtwar district. All of them are local youth,” Sinha said.
Asked whether it is worrying for the security forces that the ultras managed to give them slip after establishing contact with them, he said: “We have learnt our lessons and will go fully prepared next time when there is an information about their presence”.
“When we received information about presence of terrorists in Marwah, we sent an advance party for recee of the area but unfortunately it came under fire and the ultras fled. Same was the case in Keshwan,” he said.