Jahangeer Ganaie

Misery: Transition in south Kashmir- From militancy hotbed to drug abusers ‘paradise’

Misery: Transition in south Kashmir- From militancy hotbed to drug abusers ‘paradise’
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Pulwama: The Sangam-Litter belt including Zainapora area in south Kashmir is turning out to be a hub of drug addiction as local as well as youth belonging to other parts are thronging the region due to easy access to drugs here.
As per locals the youth can get every kind of drug here especially from the twin villages of Wanduna and Melhoora of Zainapora Tehsil.
Many people in these villages are associated with the trade of drugs mostly heroin, brown sugar and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s).
“The villages in Zainapora belt are visited by the drug addicts mostly during the daytime and they get all the drugs they need from various peddlers who have been involved in the trade for quite some time now,” said a local wishing not to be named.
“The youth in every village of this area are falling prey to drug addiction but nobody dares to talk about this issue here as the police too has failed to act against the drug peddlers,” he said.
“The drug dealers and addicts roam freely in the area due to which the common man is facing lot of inconveniences as drug addicts after using the drugs can go out of control any time and can do anything,” he said.
Imtiyaz Ahmed (name changed) a youth from Srinagar city when confronted by this reporter said that he often visits the area.
“I often visit Sangam belt, a hub of drugs to get my dose. It is here only that I get free access to whatever drug I may need,” he adds.
“At a time I purchase nearly four packs of heroin daily that costs me Rs, 2,500 and if I will buy the same amount of drugs in Srinagar it will cost me around 6,000,” he adds.
Locals from Naina, Watchi and its adjacent areas said that the trade is flourishing here in this area only due to the support from the local police who take money from the traders and the users alike.
The locals said that due to continuous use of drugs at least 30 youth from this belt have become mentally unsound who continue to roam on roads like deranged men do.
“We cannot see our youth becoming drug addicts. Youth are assets of the nation as they have to shoulder the responsibilities of the society. The local administration and the police should get their act together and act against the drug peddlers,” Mohammad Niyaz, a local said.
Notably, the entire belt is notorious for the growth and use of poppy and cannabis.
What is worrying the local elders is that the young women too are falling prey to the use of drugs.
According to those monitoring the trend, a large number of teenage girls and women have also turned to substance abuse.
Females are also now felling prey to drugs like Spasmoproxyvom capsule, sleeping pills, fluid, whiteners, boot polish, fuki, charas and other substances.
A health officials posted in the area who also did not wished to be identified said that the growing trend of substance abuse is creating a dangerous situation in the south Kashmir region.
“The government’s move to destroy cultivations of cannabis and poppy is nothing but a fraud. If the administration really wants to destroy such cultivations, they would do it in the seasons of sowing and not during the period of ripening,” the official said.
Meanwhile, a police officer also acknowledged police’s failure to address the drug menaceand attributed it to the force’s preoccupation with law and order.
“Why the police are not able to restrict the circulation of drugs has a lot to do with their constant involvement in the law and order problems that Kashmir has no dearth of,” he said.
Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Zainapora Syed Ahmad shah said they are working to provide an alternative crop to the people of Wanduna and Melhoora area.
“Within few days anti bhung drive will be launched in the area,” he said.
A senior police official while giving details said last year 21 cases were registered against drug peddlers in Pulwama while as 7 cases were registered in Shopian.
In Pulwama 2.200 Kgs charas, 161.000 kgs fukki and 402.400 kgs of poppy straw was seized and in Shopian 1.400 kgs charas, 23 kgs Fukki and 294.000 kgs of Poppy straw was seized in year 2018, he added.

Jahangeer Ganaie

Jahangeer Ganaie is a reporter and covers regional news and can be contacted [email protected]

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