Anti-drug campaign breaks the back of smugglers, but loss of five civilians in Kupwara

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Kashmir Wire

Srinagar

A campaign against drug abuse in Kupwara district this year led to arrest of 53 ‘notorious’ drug peddlers and recovery of a lot of banned drugs and psychotropic substances, making the year gone-by ‘triumphant’ against the social menace, police said on Sunday.

However, on the counter-insurgency front, the year was not as triumphant owing to the killing of five civilians including a woman and minor girl during anti-militant operations in the district.

These operations also saw at least 18 militants, four army soldiers including an officer getting killed, mostly in Handwara police district, according to official figures.

In a recent such operation, three suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba militants and a woman were killed in Unisoo village of the frontier district, triggering violent protests.

Killing of a cab driver allegedly during an army ambush in Thandipora village of the district on  December 18, evoked violent protestors prompting police to register a case into the incident.

However, the police achieved a success in nabbing the drug peddlers and giving a setback to illicit trade during the year gone by.

The recovered substances valued at millions of rupees in the international market include around 31 Kgs of Charas, 2 Kgs of Heroine, 4.5 Kgs of Brown Sugar and a large quantity of codeine- highest this year in Kashmir, according to police.

Towards the culmination of the year, a police team nabbed a suspected drug peddler a day before and recovered around 1500 grams of Charas from him. Police identified the accused as Fayaz Ahmad Ganie, a Tikipora village resident.

“The crackdown against the drug abuse ruining the lives of youth will continue in the district till the menace is rooted out. The eradication of drug abuse is one of the commitments of JK police this year and the endeavour in this direction will continue in future as well,” Shamsher Hussian, Kupwara Superintendent of police told Kashmir Wire.

The officer appealed people particularly youths to support the police in eradicating the menace.

A major breakthrough in drug abuse came earlier this year after police nabbed four peddlers, who allegedly smuggled narcotics from across the Line of Control (LOC) in border town Karnah and delivered at specific places across Kashmir, officials said.

The frontier district had its own share of the worry of braid chopping during the year. Several such incidents took place making people especially womenfolk feel immensely insecure. (Kashmir Wire)

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