Narco Terror A Major Challenge For Security Forces In Kashmir
The terrorism sponsored by Pakistan in Kashmir has uprooted thousands of families in our Valley. Pakistan’s strategic assets in Kashmir have left no stone unturned to entangle more and more youth, so that the devastation could be maximum. The consequences of the violence are so painful that one cannot imagine. Thousands of orphans long for the affection and love of their father, lost to violence. Wailing widows and broken parents know that Pakistan has used Kashmir as a tool, leaving them to cry.
Pakistan supplies arms and ammunition to Kashmir for violence. It also supplies huge consignments of drugs to ruin the youth of Kashmir. The supply of drugs serves Pakistan in multiple ways. Whether the Kashmir youth become foot soldiers for narco terrorism or become addicted to drugs, both ways they serve Pakistan’s interests. The revenue generated through narco terrorism is used by Pakistan to fund terror activities. Narco terrorism has emerged as a major threat in Kashmir.
Recent encounters and searches by the security forces exposed large consignments of narcotics with militants. In the last week of the June, J&K Police busted a Lashkar e Toiba narco- terror funding module in Badgam and arrested four youngsters. Incriminating materials, explosives, ammunitions and vehicles were recovered from their possession.
In February, security forces guarding the LOC killed three Pakistani militants who were carrying 36 kg of heroin worth over Rs 180 crore in the international market, along with arms and ammunition in Samba district. Around the same time, J&K Police arrested two militants with contraband worth Rs 18 crore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
While foiling infiltration bids along the Kupwara sector in April 2021, security forces recovered two heroin consignments worth 100 crores. In October the same year, the Army recovered 30 kgs of drugs in bags with Pakistani markings. In 2020, heroin recovered from Handwara was found to be connected with the funding of proscribed militant outfit Lashkar e Toiba.
How these drugs are transported
Pakistan operatives send consignments of arms and ammunitions to the LOC, along with packets of drugs. It is received by the immediate contact near LOC from Kashmir side. Thereafter, it is secretly transported to other parts of Kashmir by the Over-Ground Workers (OGWs). The drug mafia easily transports it to other parts of the country. A part of revenue generated from the illegal sale is given to the OGWs as an incentive for safe transportation. A part of it is used for terror activities.
Role Of Parents And Civil Society In Eradicating Drug Menace
Terrorism in itself is a big challenge to tackle for the state forces. Now narco-terrorism has also emerged as a major challenge. Fortunately, the roots of narco-terrorism are not so deep in Kashmir yet. If the society decides to effectively deal with drug menace, it can do so.
The operative role against drug addiction must be played by the society. For instances, the society can give a call for the social boycott to the persons engaged in narcotics supply or consumption. Drug awareness camps can be organized. Speeches in local masjids during Friday sermons on the illegality of drug abuse can help significantly. Parents must stay regular with the behavioral, mental and health checkups of their children.
We Need Well Equipped Forensic Lab In Kashmir: SSP Kupwara
In conversation with Kashmir Central, Senior Superintendent of Police, Kupwara district, Mr Yougal Manhas said, “Pakistan has been sending drugs through the Kupwara sector. Because of highly dense forest cover, 100 per cent monitoring gets difficult. Pakistan’s operatives use this to supply ammunition and narcotics.”
He added that the police and the other security agencies keep a constant check on all those associated with drug abuse. “We have booked 24 persons under Public Safety Act (PSA) who were involved in drug trafficking and narco-terrorism, and many FIRs are registered against them. The most vulnerable group is the teenagers,” said SSP Manhas.
The SSP broadly spoke about the profile of the people involved in drug abuse. One, those who work as a courier for the transportation of drugs and ammunitions to earn incentives for these activities. Second, those who consume drugs and find it convenient to transport drugs and ammunition to finance their addiction. For them, the biggest incentive is that they get drugs at cheap rates from dealers.
While the Police have taken action to curb the drug menace in Kashmir, more needs to be done. A challenge faced by the police is that nobody comes forward to testify as an eye-witness in crimes related to drug peddling. This way, it becomes comparatively easy for drug peddlers to secure acquittal.
Drug peddlers also intimidate the local population about providing any information regarding them. The police face the challenge of the lack of a fully equipped Forensic Science Lab (FSL) in Kashmir. “There is a huge number of samples, but testing is slow. The test report must be received within two months so that the peddler is not able to get bail,” said the SSP.
He pointed out that if the FSL report is delayed, the peddler is able to get bail. Once outside, he starts drug dealing again. “We have two such cases in Kupwara. One of them is a dismissed police constable. We have seized the property of both,” SSP Manhas said.