DRUGS, DHOKA AND JAIL

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Some Parents In Kashmir Are Trying To Wean Away Their Sons From Drugs By Getting Them Arrested, Jailed

Gayatri Mohan

This isn’t happening at the level of the top officers of JK Police. Probably the Station House Officers (SHOs) of some police stations may not be involved, though that seems difficult to believe. But over the last few years, parents of some drug addicts in Kashmir have adopted a shocking method to wean their sons away from drugs. In a number of cases, these parents have bribed cops at their local police stations to book their sons under PSA (Public Safety Act). The youth are arrested and sent to jail, and parents desperately hope that their sons will return from jail freed of drug addiction.

Sources reveal that most such cases of false arrests of drug-addicted youth have happened with the help of the constabulary. On the record, it is possible that police may deny this. But the ugly underside of our daily life cannot be negated. It happens away from public glare. As they say – life is stranger than fiction.

‘Yes, Parents Make This request’

A Top Police Officer of North Kashmir Confirms That At Times, Families Ask For Arrest Or Detention Of Youth Addicted To Drugs

“In desperation, people who do not know about de-addiction have in the past requested for arrest or detention of their addicted kin, where they feel it will scare or reform them. However, they’re always provided with the alternative of rehab, which is the suitable course of action for such youth. No such issue has been reported where a youngster addicted to drugs was arrested on charges of disrupting law and order.”

Junaid, Mohalla Jamia, Old Town Baramulla

In Mohalla Jamia in Old Town Baramulla, many knew that Junaid (name changed to protect identity) was a drug addict. Junaid’s father paid Rs 30,000 to some local policemen for his son’s arrest and jail detention under the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA). The incident happened about a month ago.

Junaid’s arrest was facilitated by Aslam (name changed), who is a drug peddler in the area. Junaid’s father knew Aslam as his son’s friend, not as a drug peddler. After Junaid’s father came to know of his son’s drug addiction, he stopped giving him any money. He discussed with Aslam how to break their son’s drug addiction.

Aslam convinced Junaid’s father that if the young man stays in jail for two to three months, it will break his habit of drug consumption. Aslam also told Junaid’s father that he has to give money to some policemen who would arrest the young man and put him in jail.

Convinced by Aslam, Junaid’s father gave him Rs 30,000 to secure his son’s arrest. Aslam called Junaid to his house on some pretext, where he tied him with ropes with the help of some associates. Some policemen thereafter arrested Junaid and took him away. Junaid, a drug addict, was charged by the police under PSA for his involvement in stone pelting. He is currently serving his sentence at the Central Jail in Kot Bhalwal, Jammu. Junaid’s mother is unaware that her husband got their son arrested to wean him away from drugs.

Using Police As A Shield

Aslam does not undertake his drug peddling activities during the day. He is a silent operative in the day, and sells drugs only at night. Baramulla police had caught hold of Aslam for drug peddling, but booked him under the charges of stone pelting. Aslam deals in the supply of heroin, brown sugar and other drugs.

One of Junaid’s relatives is an SPO. This relative went to Aslam’s house and fought with him for misleading Junaid’s father and getting the young man arrested as a criminal. In turn, Aslam’s family registered a case against Junaid’s relative, claiming criminal intention to harm them.

Locally, people think that Aslam is a police informer and has close jaan pehchaan with the police. What people are not aware of is that Aslam is using police as a shield to conveniently carry out his own activities. “He may be giving some halki-fulki information to police regarding some minor militant or OGW (Over Ground Worker) activities in the area. But his real purpose is to keep the cover on his own activities by keeping up the façade of being friendly and cooperative towards police,” a Baramulla resident told me.

Baramulla residents claim that there are many young men who are police sources and also sell drugs. “They project themselves as cooperative towards local police. They keep sharing some minor information with the policemen. In this way they come less in police radar. There may be cases in which the local policemen are complicit with them for petty gains,” said a resident of Mohalla Jamia.

“In order to counter this subversive activity, police needs to keep a close watch on their sources. Police need to track whether these men are using the law and order force as a shield and misusing their access to the cops,” highlighted the local resident.

Order For Junaid’s Detention

Office Of The District Magistrate Baramulla

Subject: Detention Under Public Safety Act, 1978

Dossier Under Number CS/PSA/2022/6433-36 dated 23-07-2022

  1. Whereas you have been detained vide order number 67 DMB/PSA/2022, dated: 28/07/2022 made by me under Section 8 (a) of J&K Public Safety Act, 1978…

Signed

District Magistrate,

Baramulla

Dated: 28/07/2022

DMB/PSA/2022/362-366

Copy to the

Financial Commissioner (Addl. Chief Secretary) to Govt. Home Department J&K Jammu/Srinagar for information.

Special Director General of Police CID, J&K Jammu/Srinagar for information. Senior Superintendent of Police, Baramulla, along with copy of grounds of detention and material relied upon….

The Case Registered Against Junaid

Address: Jamia Mohalla, Baramulla. District: Baramulla. Age: 24 Years

You were reportedly born at your native place and is 24 years of age. You got your primary education from Public School Baramulla up to 10th standard. You have passed your 12th class from Boys Higher Secondary School, Baramulla. You are pursuing your Bachelor’s Degree at Govt. Degree College, Baramulla. You have played a major role for a long period of time in disturbing the public order while indulging in rioting and illegal activities in District Baramulla and instigating the youth for stone pelting in Baramulla area. You are involved in case FIR No. 62/20/2018 U/Ss 307, 148, 332, 336, 353 RPC of Police Station Baramulla which is under investigation.

You with the passage of time developed contacts with anti-national elements who motivated you to work with them. You got readily motivated and started indulging in varios anti-national activities which facilitated strengthening of network of anti-national grid in District Baramulla to provision of logistics to the anti-national elements operating in the area. Your activities are highly objectionable as it has been established that you are adamant to disturb peace and tranquility in Baramulla and its adjoining areas. In view of your profile and your involvement in the anti-national activities, you have been specifically identified as an accused in the aforesaid criminal case. Your aims and objectives as per the reports received by the police from field formations is to secede the J&K from the Union of India and to motivate the youth towards secessionist ideology.  Your remaining at large at this point of juncture may adversely effect the maintenance of the security of the state. In order to stop you from indulging in such activities which are prejudicial to the maintenance of security of the state, your detention under the provisions of Public Safety Act-1978 has become imperative at this stage, as normal law may not be sufficient to stop you from indulging in such activities, which have a direct bearing upon security of the state. In view of the above, you are hereby detained under the provision of J&K Public Safety Act-1978. You have a right of making a representation before the Government in the Home Department or to the undersigned against your detention, within prescribed time limit, if you choose so.

Signed

District Magistrate

Baramulla

Question Mark On Police Functioning

Stone-Pelting In 2018, Case Registered In 2022

The youth addicted to drugs need drug de-addiction and rehabilitation, not punishment. But over the last few years, simple parents of youths addicted to drugs assumed that serving time in prison will reform their son. This led to the negative social trend where parents started requesting police to arrest their drug addict sons. Such parents usually told the police, “Hamare bachhe ko ek saal jail me rakho. Ye theek ho jayega”.

Policemen who wanted to make quick money did not guide the parents correctly. In July 2022, Junaid was charged under PSA for a stone-pelting case relating to 2018. The question is – why did the police not arrest him for four years?

Ahmed Of Mohalla Mir Sahib, Baramulla

Another Drug Addict Sent To Jail By Parents for ‘Reformation’ 

Ahmed (name changed to protect identity), a resident of Mohalla Mir Sahib in Baramulla, was arrested about six months ago. His family members got to know that he is into consumption of drugs. In order to supposedly wean him away from drugs, his family members got him booked under PSA and got him sent to jail.

Such fake frame-ups ultimately lead to complications for all – the parents, the society, the police department and also for the nation, in terms of the security situation. Such youngsters are left with no will to live and frequently turn to militancy.

Desperate Request Made By Parents Is Indicative Of Serious Gaps At Various Levels

* There is lack of awareness among parents that a drug-addicted youngster needs treatment at a rehabilitation centre, not detention in jail

* It reveals that some cops are willing to extort money from desperate parents for sending their drug addict sons to jail. These youths otherwise have no criminal charge

* The cops involved in this fraud and also their parents are unmindful of the disastrous consequences of sending an otherwise innocent youngster to jail. They do not realize that jail detention shall harden a man as a criminal.

The feeling of ‘betrayal’ by the parents is likely to severely isolate a young man from the loving fold of his community. He is then vulnerable to brainwashing by anti-social and anti-national elements, who have used such youth and pushed them into militancy.

A Community Influencer In Baramulla

When Parents Of a Youth Contacted Me to Get Him Arrested…

The parents of a youngster contacted me about a month ago. They told me, “Our son is a drug addict. We are not able to get him off this habit. Please get him arrested.”

I was shocked at their request. I told them, “What is the logic in your request? Your son is a patient. He needs the hospital and medicine, not jail. He cannot get treated or rehabilitated this way.”

I also felt deeply sad for the parents. The youth is their only son. The parents have two shops where they sell cosmetics. It is a financially sound family. After the parents got to know of the son’s addiction, they stopped giving him money. Later this young man became a pick pocket. Some people also caught him stealing wallets.

Parents need counseling if they think that a jail term shall reform their son. In many cases, even the mohalla presidents did not know that some local youth had been arrested because his parents had bribed the police for his arrest to wean him away from drug addiction.

This practice of imposing PSA leads to highly dangerous and negative consequences.

The Disastrous Consequences

What the parents do not realize is that the jail is no place for reform. It is a den of criminals and terrorists. A youngster forms highly dangerous contacts in the jail which can derail his life forever. However much the jail authorities may try to control it, the boys get sucked into a wrong vortex.

The jail term dehumanizes the youth. They become anti-state and also hate their families for sending them to prison. Such youngsters become blind puppets for terror networks. They are trapped by terror operatives for violent and anti-national activities. Drugs negatively impact a society in so many different ways.

The matter becomes even more complicated because drug addicts are able to procure drugs even at drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sabzar Bhat Was Drug Addict, Was Co-Opted By Militants 

– Former Militant In South Kashmir 

Sabzar Ahmad Bhat was considered to be the right hand man of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani. After Burhan’s killing, he was area commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.

Very few people know that before becoming a militant, Sabzar Bhat was a drug addict and a thief. He used to indulge in petty thefts like stealing car batteries and tape recorders from vehicle. Some militants approached him and co-opted him in the terror network. He needed money for drugs and was easily trapped.

This was the story of a large number of youth who turned to militancy. The trigger was some strife within the family, problems with some family members which stressed these boys and young men.

Pakistan’s terror handlers have local modules. They know which youth are vulnerable and are facing acute financial or family problems, or may be drug addicts. These modules specifically target these youth. At that time, the trend was that militants were given huge hype. They were romanticized by the society. Hence it seemed an easy option for distressed youth to join militancy.

I know from personal experience that after becoming militants, many boys wanted to quit this violent life and return to their families. But they used to feel that they would have to spend 8-10 years in jail if they returned, so it was better to die. They were also afraid that the hardened militants would attack their families if they returned.

Sabzar was involved in attacks on panchayat members and security forces, as well as the execution of civilians who he believed to be informants. He was killed in May 2017.

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