Tackling Drug Menace

1 min read
Police arrest a gang of drug peddlers in Kashmir| File Photo

This year the Jammu and Kashmir police apart from strengthening Counter Insurgency Grid have pledged to take on drug menace soaring alarmingly in Jammu and Kashmir. It is consuming our youth and putting our future in jeopardy.

Drugs have taken deep roots in us with official data suggesting that six lakh youths are affected. Many drug de-addiction centres are established in both Jammu and Kashmir provinces and various governmental and non governmental institutes engage with the addicts to rehabilitate them followed by medical treatments.
The Police and Army have equally been on forefront in offering its services through CSR initiatives.
Police in Srinagar has a full-fledged facility operational at Srinagar downtown area with few centres operating in districts. Army too has incorporated with several social NGOs and are running centres to rehabilitate the youths.
Over the years the growing concerns of drug use by our youths have prompted local administration to set up a full-fledged department alongside the department for Psychiatry at SKIMS Bemina. Hundreds of patients in the last couple of years have been received  here to provide medical aid. Some with severity are admitted for specialized treatment. SKIMS is receiving an overwhelming response since the medical institute enjoys a remarkable reputation.

But it has not lowered the footprints at other facilities.
On the other hand, the police’ crackdown against peddlers is continuing. The official reports reveal that 1021 NDPS cases have been registered. 1685 drug peddlers are arrested with 138 drug peddlers under PIT NDPS acts.

A Huge quantity of drugs have also been seized. The figures suggest that the police have achieved a significant mark against drug mafia operating in Kashmir. Unfortunately, over the last three decades the focus of Jammu and Kashmir police remained solely on Law and Order and insurgency. The social issues which police are otherwise supposed to tackle were left unattended, therefore giving a chance for drug mafia to flourish.

More than rehabilitation, police should focus on containing it. It shall work tirelessly to break its cycle and arrest all those involved in it. This is a multi crore economy running under the dark cover which needs to be unearthed.

Responsibility of rehabilitation and treatment must be left with government hospitals and social NGOs. Police along with an active support of Army must focus on controlling it since it has resources and means to do so are NGOs and other hospitals laced with attitude and care with substantial resources and infrastructure in place to treat such patients.

If police are sincere in tackling the issue it must draw the line of its role and focus on it. Otherwise, the menace is gradually consuming Kashmir and its future.

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