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War Against Narco Terrorism

03:39 AM Jun 28, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
war against narco terrorism

Post Article 370 abrogation in 2019, the terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is almost gone with an ever-dwindling number of active terrorists. The security forces have managed to curb the protests, stone pelting and enforced shutdowns after it successfully unearthed the eco system that was ostensibly orchestrating anti national activities through different means and kept the pot boiling in Jammu and Kashmir.


A major setback to anti national elements is the ongoing Parliamentary elections in which people are actively participating and reposing faith in the Indian democratic system. Previously the elections were marred by violence, street protests and boycotts by the separatist elements dancing to the tunes of the Pakistan army and its spy agency-ISI.


The prevailing peace in the Union Territory is reflected in the recent poll turnout from Srinagar, Baramulla, and Anantnag constituencies which remained highest ever in many decades. The people, however, have not only buried the boycott calls, they also have played a silent role in keeping it violence and incident free to a large extent.


But that all doesn’t go well for the handlers of terrorism across the border who keep exploring new ways and means to vitiate the atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir. The destruction of the ecosystem of terrorism internally and externally after 2019 by the security agencies has frustrated Pakistan who intensified its narcotic war in Jammu and Kashmir.


It is observed that after guerrilla war to be fought mostly with Pakistani criminals recruited in to terrorist gangs, if there is any imminent threat from Pakistan it is narcotic terrorism. It is now open knowledge that narcotics and terrorism are inter twined and both come from Pakistan.


While the Pakistan army is using narcotics to make huge money after getting access to the global market, it is also using the same money to fund the terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir since routes of hawala money have all been choked in the last several years and people involved in this illicit trade have been put behind the bars.


The increased footfall of patients at Drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centre Srinagar sponsored by police, SMHS and SKIMS are some of the places to visit and understand the magnitude of narco terrorism. Not only men, the number of women induced to narcotic substances is equally concerning. The tales of these youth which have left their families shattered and financially ruined have no alternative to compensate. They feel socially stigmatized and various official and unofficial estimates suggest that nearly a million youth are actively affected by the narcotics.


Meanwhile, hope has arisen since Jammu and Kashmir police is rising to the occasion and taking stringent measures against the peddlers and at the same time rehabilitating the victims. As an all-out war, the police appear to be working on multi-pronged strategies. From arresting the peddlers to attaching their properties across the Union Territory, the police have vowed to make Jammu Kashmir drug free and rehabilitate all those who have fallen victim to this curse.

There are remarkable initiatives and measures taken by J&K Police to stop the spread of the menace among the young population of the UT. During the year 2023 and 2024 (till March) 3811 people were arrested under NDPS Act and 318 people were detained under PIT NDPS. Hitting hard on the supply and demand of narcotics drugs, J&K Police during the previous year 2023 and current year (till March) registered 2696 cases and huge seizure of narcotics drugs and pharmaceutical were made.

Police has seized Brown Sugar 77.8597 Kgs, Heroin 218.902 Kgs, Charas 507.852 Kgs, Fuki 463.058 Kgs, Poppy straw 8921.509 Kgs, Opium 1.549 Kg, Bhang 1035.24 Kg, Ganja 159.99 Kg, capsules/tablets 192695, Injections 1420, Syrup bottles/Tin 3305 during the same period & Cocaine 1.126 in the year 2023. The Union Home ministry has passed on the strict direction directing Jammu Kashmir police to crackdown on all those mafias and people who are involved in narco terrorism and the police has set the deadline in coming years to weed out this menace entirely from the UT.

The police is also attaching the properties of the peddlers and dealers passing a strict warning to all those involved in this illicit trade. While there are hundreds of people in the mainland involved in the peddling, its supply points are predominantly from the areas sharing its borders with Pakistan occupied Kashmir in Uri and Kupwara districts of north Kashmir. Over the years, these areas have become hot points for the smugglers and some residents in these areas are actively involved many have been apprehended by police.

Unfortunately, once the accused is released on bail, he is getting recycled in this illicit trade which has been proving a major challenge for the police to curb the menace. Given the extraordinary profit margin the dealers, couriers and peddlers are hiring a few expensive lawyers who have come to specialise in providing relief to the narco offenders. Technical loopholes and procedural flaws are being exploited by these lawyers in taking these offenders off-the-hook resulting in relapse with impunity. Police has, however, now come up with a solution to tie an anklet to the accused during his/her bail period.

It helps police to track the movement and activities of the accused and ensures he is not getting again involved in it. Earlier, the GI laced anklet was applied on terrorists who are on bail to ensure that they do not violate bail conditions. But this novel idea comes as a breather and a great support for the police for its war against narco-terrorism. It is to be believed that narcotic terrorism is more lethal than any other form of terrorism.

It brings fake inflation, destabilizes the economy, destroys the future of youth and creates anarchy in the society. It tears up family life from within and triggers and proliferates petty crimes. It has also come to notice that narco-terror money is responsible for stratospheric increase in land value in towns and cities as the members of the criminal syndicate find it most viable to invest and park the proceeds of their crime.

Recent killing of a young Sub-Inspector in Kathua, frequent stone-pelting and vicious attacks by whole families of this crime syndicate on police in narco hot-spots in Samba region are wake-up calls to the very dangerous trend of illegal state land encroachment, illegal arms smuggling and storage, bovine smuggling have come to criss-cross with narco-terrorism.

It is to be seen if the police can keep the tempo of its current anti narco-terror drive alive and withstand the pressures of powerful vested interests who are unlikely to give up without resistance.

BY Shahzaib Khan