Kashmir Chamber expresses concern over rising drug menace, hails police

SRINAGAR: A spokesperson of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday expressed concern at the disturbing reports about the growth of the drug mafia in Kashmir Valley and attempts to involve the youth of Kashmir in these activities.

The spokesperson stated that drug use had serious mental, physical, cultural and social consequences which, if not controlled, can have a catastrophic and traumatic impact on the entire society. The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as part of it’s social responsibility, has been regularly voicing its a concern in this regard.

“We are pleased to note that the Jammu and Kashmir Police under the leadership of Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar, an honest and upright officer, has for the first time seriously cracked down on notorious drug peddlers and made huge busts which include seizure of astronomical amount of cash and drugs. A Special Narcotics Cell has reportedly been recently being constituted. We would urge the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to use the cash so seized for up-gradation of the drug de-addiction centres,” said the statement.

“But the war on drugs alongside consistent efforts also needs us to protect those who, without caring from their lives, dare to raise their voices. One such voice belongs to Nighat Bashir, a young girl from Sopore whose brother is a victim of the drug peddlers. Her efforts have led to the Police cracking down on the smugglers and local people of the area coming out in her support. Her voice appears to have antagonized the drug lords and their patrons and she has reportedly been attacked in her home. So far what emerges from the reports on the social media is that her only crime is that despite being from a deprived background and helpless, her desire to protect her brother has blinded her to the risks she has exposed herself to and she has dared to boldly raise her voice. Prima facie, it appears to be an act of extraordinary valour,” it added.

“In the interest of justice, we urge the Chief Justice of High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of Jammu and Kashmir to immediately provide adequate protection to Nighat and her family and order a Court-monitored investigation into the circumstances leading to her being attacked and also other cases of drug abuse,” said KCCI statement.

The statement said that the exploitation of deficiencies in the legal system has resulted in very few convictions and most of those convicted are back in business within no time.

The KCC&I would also urge the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Srinagar to take necessary supportive steps.

The KCC&I requests the members of our media fraternity, wherever they may be, to verify the facts about this case and take follow-up action accordingly before she falls prey to the machinations of the power she has antagonized.

“With reports of drug abuse coming from all over Kashmir and it posing a serious threat to the society it would be in the larger interest of the community to join hands and contribute towards it’s eradication in whatever individual and collective capacity we can,” said KCCI spokesman in a statement.

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