Time to curb narco-terrorism

TNN Bureau. Updated: 11/4/2022 11:19:06 AM Edit and Opinion

Jammu and Kashmir has virtually slipped into the tight grip of narco-terrorism with unbated smuggling of habit-forming drugs from across the border taking a heavy toll on the youths, particularly teenagers, in the Union Territory.The UT seems to have emerged as a major destination and transit point for smuggling of ganja, hashish, heroin and ‘tablets of all types’, going by the staggering catch in the last couple of years. The large seizure of narcotic drugs like ganja, hashish, heroin and poppy straw from Jammu and Kashmir, which shares International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, indicates that the flow of drugs into the UT from across the border remained unabated, notwithstanding the claims of drug law enforcement agencies (DLEAs) to have launched a crackdown on drug mafia.A staggering catch of around 2,000 kg ganja (1,342 kg in 2020 and 642 kg in 2021) and over 1,900 kg (927 kg in 2020 and 975.29 kg in 2021) during the last two years shows that J&K has become a major destination and transit point for smuggling of these narcotic drugs. The DLEAs have also seized 355.15 kg of heroin (196.15 kg alone in 2021) in two years while the quantity of seized poppy straw was quite staggering for the period as 43,046 kg poppy straw was recovered from drug smugglers.Over 4 lakh tablets of all types were recovered from peddlers in 2020 while this number was 1.72 lakh during the year 2021. Similarly, a total of 1,131 injections were seized in 2021 while this number was 304 in 2020. As far as CBCS is concerned, 57732 bottles of CBCS were seized in 2021 and 74845 in 2020. Moreover, a majority of drug peddlers arrested by the police have admitted that Punjab was their last destination, but they usually sold some portion of their consignments in J&K, particularly Jammu province.According to the data published by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), as many as 1173 cases were registered and 1,884 persons were arrested under the NDPS Act during the year 2019 in J&K, while the number of cases registered went up to 1,222 in 2020 and the persons arrested were 1564 for the period.Pertinently, the government had introduced the Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD) in 2016 to have effective coordination of actions among various ministries, departments, central and states law enforcement agencies against narcotic drugs. Further, this is the need of hour that the government should take concrete measures to curb narco-terrorism.

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