How Kashmir’s separatists are wiping out a generation by facilitating drug trade and abuse
New Delhi, July 17: With a turnover of 500 billion dollars, the drug industry is only third to the petroleum industry and arms trade. In India Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir are the two major entry points for drugs coming in from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Towards the end of June 2019, a truck from Pakistan came into India with 523 grams of heroin valued at Rs 2,600 crore. This was a major bust and investigations found that the consignment dropped off at Attari was meant to be transported to Jammu and Kashmir.
In Kashmir where India fights the menace of terrorism and separatism, it has been found that a large part of secessionist activities are funded through drug money. Intelligence Bureau officials say both terror groups as well as the separatists have long facilitated the drug racket and have used it both to further acts of terror as well as for their personal gains.
Home Ministry officials tell OneIndia that there has been a major spike in the drug menace in the Valley. Officials say that a generation is getting ruined due to this and this appears to be part of a larger ploy by Pakistan sponsored terrorist groups as well the separatists.
In this context one would need to look into a survey conducted by the Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment. The survey says that 6 lakh people in J&K or 4.9 per cent of the population are using opioid drugs. Opioid drugs are heroin and morphine. What is more disturbing is that 76.8 per cent of the people who are using these drugs are in the age group of 10 and 20 years.
This apart, it has also been found that the use of charas, ganja and Dextropropoxyphene is also quite high in number.
In this context one must take a serious note about the role being played by both the separatists and terrorist groups here. The separatists have for long engineered shutdowns, violence and strikes in the Valley. This has led to a major economic melt down and the result of the same is unemployment.
The youth involved in drug addiction according to the Government Psychiatric Hospital in Srinagar states that 90 per cent of the drug users are in the age group of 17 and 35. Some of the reasons for this high rate of drug addiction is due to various social and political issues. Unemployment is also one of the major reasons behind this problem. Further the separatists are hand in glove with several drug paddlers which has made the availability easy.
Officials say that the menace is going out of control. In Sopore the police, enforcement agencies are seeking the help of the public in fighting this menace. This has yielded results and several paddlers have been arrested in recent times. The most recent arrest was that of Manzoor Ahmead Dar, a notorious peddler operating in Sopore.
Writing in the pioneer, Brig Anil Gupta makes an interesting point about this menace. Sensing defeat in its design to annex Kashmir through religious militancy, radicalisation and jihadi terror, it has now resorted to destroying the future generation by making them drug addicts. He also says that there is a need to launch Back to Village 2.0 and this should focus on a massive anti-drug and anti-radicalisation drive.
It is quite ironical to note that separatists such as Asiya Andrabi collects money through various channels and utilises it to create havoc in the Valley. She and the other separatists encourage the youth of Kashmir to pick up guns and stones and ruin their futures. Ironically a large part of the same money is diverted by her to ensure that her children are well educated abroad and have a secure future.