Jammu and Kashmir: Drug smuggling from Pakistan is on the rise
Due to difficulty in infiltration of arms and terrorists, Pakistan is now engaged in smuggling of narcotics to destroy the youth of Kashmir.
In Jammu and Kashmir, which is battling Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, the smuggling of drugs from the neighboring country has increased. Explosives and arms and ammunition as well as narcotics are being sent to India through tunnels in some areas and through drones at some places. The Border Security Force reports that drone activity has doubled from across the Line of Control and the International Border.
The Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir is heavily wired and fitted with sensors ranging from seismic to thermal, image intensifiers to movement tracking. Electronic monitoring of communications is also carried out. Along with the Army, there are many more layers of security along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.
Due to difficulty in infiltration of arms and terrorists, Pakistan is now engaged in smuggling of narcotics to destroy the youth of Kashmir. Three years after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is at its lowest level. The number of active militants at the end of 2019 was 250, which has come down to just over 100 in January 2023. Security agencies have busted 146 terror modules prepared by Pakistan in the year 2022.
Due to difficulty in infiltration of arms and terrorists, Pakistan is now engaged in smuggling of narcotics to destroy the youth of Kashmir. Narcotics have become Pakistan’s new weapon to finance terrorism within the Valley and Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh has described narcotics as the biggest challenge facing the Union Territory.
In such a situation, the Kashmir Valley is slowly becoming the center of drugs in northern India. According to government statistics, there are more than 67,000 drug addicts, out of which 90 percent are addicted to heroin. More than 33 thousand drug addicts use syringes daily. Continued drug infiltration by Pakistan through the Kupwara and Baramulla districts of the Valley has also led to a large proliferation of other less commonly used drugs such as brown sugar, cocaine and marijuana within the Valley and even in parts of Jammu. are readily available.
Kashmir has become the most drug-affected region in the country, with drug abuse by about two and a half percent of the population. In this case, Kashmir is even ahead of Punjab, where according to reports, 1.2 percent of the population is affected by drug addiction. The State Level Narcotics Coordination Committee meeting held under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary in November 2022 revealed that at least six lakh residents in J&K are affected by drug-related issues.
In December 2022, police busted a Pakistan-based narcotics module and arrested 17 people, including five policemen and some political activists. In the year 2022, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, police registered 1021 cases and arrested 1700 smugglers. These include 138 notorious smugglers. In the year 2022, security agencies seized a large quantity of prohibited goods. These include 212 kg of Charas, 56 kg of Heroin, 13 kg of Brown Sugar, 4.355 tonnes of Papi Straw and 1.567 tonnes of Fukki.
The local administration has also started a drug-free India campaign. From the year 2019, the administration planned to confiscate and attach the immovable property of people involved in drug trafficking to stop the money raised through drug-terrorism for militancy activities. The campaign has been hampered by social apathy, the weakening of Kashmir’s traditional social control mechanisms and the silence of senior citizens, civil society and village level committees.