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Over 400 drug peddlers arrested in first quarter of 2024

Police intensify crackdown on drug peddlers in Kashmir, focus on disrupting supply chain
01:33 AM May 16, 2024 IST | SHABIR IBN YUSUF
over 400 drug peddlers arrested in first quarter of 2024
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Srinagar, May 15: In a significant crackdown on drug peddling, the J&K Police arrested around 400 individuals across various districts of Kashmir in the first quarter of the year.

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The arrests were made as part of the ongoing efforts to curb the menace of drug trafficking in the region.

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According to Police officials, a substantial quantity of contraband and other illegal substances were seized from the arrested individuals.

The Police also revealed that several of the arrested individuals have been booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) due to their repeated involvement in drug peddling activities.

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A total of 76 persons were arrested in Anantnag, 28 in Bandipora, Ganderbal 16, Kulgam 82, Srinagar 64 and the highest 91 from Baramulla for their involvement in drug trafficking.

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The data shared by Police paints a grim picture of the drug smuggling challenge the authorities face.

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In January 2024 alone, in Srinagar, 12 cases were registered against drug peddlers, leading to the arrest of 16 individuals.

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The year 2023 witnessed 107 cases being filed, resulting in the arrest of 186 persons connected to the smuggling and illicit narcotics trade.

The year 2022 emerged as the year with the highest number of cases and arrests with a total of 169 cases and a staggering 287 arrests - the highest since 2019.

The crackdown has been consistent over the years, with 74 cases registered in 2021 leading to 120 arrests while 2020 saw 92 cases and 159 arrests.

In 2019, 81 cases were lodged and 126 individuals were arrested.

The Police intensified their efforts to crack down on drug peddlers and traffickers across J&K with a focus on disrupting the supply chain of illicit substances.

The recent arrests and seizures are part of these efforts to ensure that Kashmir remains free from the scourge of drugs.

In recent times, the J&K Police uncovered a drug smuggling network responsible for the influx of narcotics from Pakistan into Kashmir.

The Police operation resulted in the seizure of a significant quantity of drugs believed to have originated from across the border.

“The narcotics are being smuggled into Kashmir through various routes, including the Line of Control (LoC), by a well-organised network of smugglers with links to Pakistan-based drug cartel,” a senior Police officer said.

“The seized drugs include heroin, cannabis, and other psychotropic substances, which were intended for distribution in the local market.”

The officer said that the Police intensified efforts to crack down on drug smuggling activities in J&K, particularly those linked to cross-border networks.

The recent seizure underscores the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in combating the illicit drug trade, which poses a serious threat to the social fabric and security of the region.

Another senior Police officer said that to deter drug trafficking in J&K, authorities in J&K had initiated a crackdown on drug peddlers, seizing their properties and assets.

“These actions come as part of a broader strategy to combat the menace of drug abuse and trafficking in Kashmir,” he said.

The senior officer said that properties seized include houses, vehicles, and other assets belonging to individuals involved in drug peddling.

“The crackdown is aimed at dismantling the financial infrastructure of drug networks operating in J&K and sending a strong message to those engaged in illegal drug activities,” he said. “The operations are being intensified to identify and seize the properties of drug peddlers. The move is also a deterrent against those involved in drug trafficking, as it not only impacts their financial interests but also exposes them to legal action.”

According to the J&K Police data, there has been a significant increase in the number of cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in recent years.

In 2023, the Police registered over 500 cases related to drug trafficking and abuse, reflecting the scale of the problem.

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