Baramulla, Feb 7: To curb narco-terrorism from the initiation point, Police in Baramulla are emphasising intelligence efforts to create a strong Police network in border villages situated ahead of the Line of Control (LoC).
Talking exclusively to Greater Kashmir, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Baramulla, Amod Ashok Nagpure said that some villages along the LoC are located beyond the fence and through investigations, Police had often discovered that these villages frequently become the focus of discussions.
“This is because these villages are situated on the other side of the fence. Now, our effort is to enhance surveillance mechanisms in these villages and the goal is to intercept the initiation points of drug trafficking so that we can effectively curb it,” he said.
Nagpure said that Baramulla district shares its border with PoK which was very vast and there were several police stations in the border areas like Boniyar, Uri, Bijahama, and Gulmarg which had strengthened their network areas along the border.
He said that the Centre had approved the establishment of Border Police posts for this purpose, and the work was going on as well.
“In collaboration with the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Army, we have devised plans for increased checkpoints and security measures in the border areas, and implementation has already begun,” the SSP Baramulla said.
He said that new checkpoints had been established in the border regions and they were emphasising intelligence efforts to create a strong police network in these areas.
“We are optimistic that soon we will see positive results from these initiatives,” Nagpure said.
He said that Baramulla was a significant district of north Kashmir as it shares a large border with PoK.
“Consequently, we have been facing a serious issue of smuggling of narcotics from across the border for a long time. Some individuals in our area are involved but mainly, handlers based in Pakistan are responsible for pushing these narcotics into our area,” the SSP Baramulla said.
He said that the primary objective of Pakistan-based handlers was to introduce narcotics and weapons to this side of the border and utilise the profits gained from narcotics to fund terrorism and secessionism.
“There are various individuals in our area who are influenced by Pakistani handlers and engage in the illicit trade of narcotics, causing harm to our youth,” Nagpure said.
In the wake of this, he said that J&K Police initiated a war against drugs, particularly focusing on Baramulla due to the heightened responsibility in this border area.
“We were aware that effective measures here will ensure the safety of the rest of Kashmir. Therefore, we conducted a large-scale crackdown on drug peddlers, resulting in registration of around 264 FIRs last year while 370 drug peddlers were arrested as well,” the SSP Baramulla said.
As per the official data, 75 drug peddlers have been booked under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (PIT NDPS Act), 1988 and the Public Safety Act (PSA) while seven properties with an estimated combined worth of Rs 3 crore were attached in 2023 in Baramulla and seized contraband worth Rs 34 crore was destroyed as well.
This year, Police in Baramulla registered 24 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 while 39 drug peddlers were arrested in January 2024.
“Our goal is to make Police action so impactful that it serves as a deterrent, discouraging any drug peddler from engaging in such activities in Baramulla,” Nagpure said.
He said the Police in Baramulla achieved considerable success with the substantial cooperation of the people.
“Presently, the incidence of drug peddling in the streets, markets, schools, and colleges of Baramulla has significantly decreased, though there is still work to be done. Compared to earlier times, the situation is better today and our efforts will continue to make Baramulla a drug-free district,” the SSP Baramulla said.
He said, that this year, the main goal was to apprehend even more hardcore drug peddlers and attach their properties as well.
“Last year we attached properties of individuals in seven cases, amounting to more than Rs 3 crore,” Nagpure said.
He said that they anticipate further success in their efforts against drug addiction as the Police personnel had received training for the cause.
“We hope to seize the properties of every drug peddler who has illegally amassed wealth through drug-related activities. We are optimistic about achieving success in this endeavour,” the SSP Baramulla said.