Gateway to drugs ignored by four states in their fight plan

Jammu and Kashmir may have become a virtual gateway to drugs, but its cause to control the malaise is not expected to get help following its exclusion by a group of four other northern states which came together to fight drug menace.

The Chief Ministers of Haryana, Punjab, Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh have reportedly decided to establish a central secretariat at Panchkula to sharing data and monitor steps to meet the challenge of growing drug abuse among the youth.

Many have questioned Jammu and Kashmir has not been included to participate in the drive, claiming that most narcotics are being smuggled to rest of the country from the state.

Drug smuggling has apparently assumed the proportion of narco-terrorism. Narcotics are smuggled into J&K from Pakistan and Afghanistan through mountainous terrain along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Although at present there is no elected government in J&K – the state being under Governor’s rule – some representative of the Home Department or the state police could have been included in the joint team to yield better results in fight against drug smuggling.

J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat share international border with Pakistan from where narcotics, it is understood, are being pushed into India.

Besides, smuggling from Pakistan and PoK, high quality charas grown in various parts of Kashmir is also smuggled to rest of the country. Seizure of huge consignments of narcotics recently by the J&K Police and the Narcotics Bureau bear testimony to that. A consignment of narcotics worth about Rs 300 crore was recently seized from a Pakistani truck on a LoC trading centre in Kashmir.

Besides J&K, the Malana valley of Himachal Pradesh is also known to be contributing high grade charas in the drug market, but reports indicate that the charas produced in Anantnag area of south Kashmir has a greater market even in far away city of Mumbai.

The J&K Police, meanwhile, has initiated a drive to manually destroy the poppy plantations in apple orchards at various places. However, it might take a long time to achieve the desired results till mechanical methods are introduced to uproot the plants.

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