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Drug smuggling from across border on rise: DGP

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Urges elders, socio-religious leaders to keep youth away from drugs

Srinagar: Smuggling of drugs from across the border is on the rise and Pakistan is using it to fund terrorism in Kashmir, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said on Friday.

He, however, said the infiltration along the Line of Control has come down.

“Drug smuggling has increased from before. Pakistan is using this smuggling for funding the terrorism. The people have to fight this strongly as many youth are falling prey to drugs and in that case, our society will also be destroyed. If our society falls ill due to drug abuse, then no one can set it right,” Singh told reporters in Kupwara.

He said the society is paying a huge price and the people should support the police in its endeavour to stop drug smuggling.

“I want the elders, socio-religious leaders, religious preachers to make the youth aware about (drugs) its effects and keep them away from it. If anyone is indulging in this trade, then police should be supported so that we take strong action,” he said.

Singh said the infiltration along the LoC has decreased and was almost zero.

“There have been some attempts but they were crushed and foiled. A couple of infiltrations were successful also. The border grid is strong, it will be strengthened and made stronger,” he added.

He congratulated the people of Kupwara district, in north Kashmir, for staying away from militancy.

“Today, there is zero militancy in Kupwara. I want it to be kept at zero only. The youth of the district should continue to support peace. There are ploys, provocations, but they are not in our favour.

“We have suffered loss of life and property on a large-scale for a long time and now the time has come to cover the losses with peace. So, I appeal to the youth to tread the path of peace,” the DGP said.

Asked about the increase in pistol fire-related incidents, he said bringing a pistol from across the border and transporting it was easy.

“It becomes easy to run terrorism in urban areas with a pistol when you can fire upon an innocent person after hiding the pistol. There have been such incidents in Srinagar city in the last one-two years where a pistol was used. Such incidents have happened in rural areas as well,” Singh said.

Police have seized a large number of pistols as well as AK-47 rifles and ammunition which have come from Pakistan, he said.

Singh said the shift from AK-47 rifles to pistols by militants is a “tactical shift” as it is easy to hide it and fire it.

“It is easy for a new terrorist, who is called a hybrid terrorist, to fire upon someone and join terrorist ranks. But it is not that we have been weak against the pistols, we have recovered many of them which had been smuggled. Many persons have been arrested or neutralised and such action will continue,” he said.

To a question about the number of terrorists in Kashmir, Singh said the numbers have decreased to one-third of what they were three years before.

“The credit for the wiping the terrorism goes to the people. Today, people are with peace, they want their children to study, they want to run their business, they want their peace of mind. They want the end of this terror and I congratulate the people, the youth for giving up the path of terror.

“I think the time has come to wipe the remaining one-third of the militancy and I seek the support of the people for that,” he said.

About Friday’s attack on a non-local labourer in Pulwama, the police chief said the attacker has been identified.

“This is an evil design from across (the border). Some foolish person is playing into the hands of Pakistani agencies. He kills someone, but is killed himself after a few days. This game of killing is not good for any society.

“The person has been identified and action will be taken against him and he will not be spared,” he said.

The DGP said the killings of non-local labourers was not justified.

“If an outside labourer is contributing in Kashmir and earns for himself, is it a crime? Under which religion or policy will you justify targeting such a person? You cannot….

“Do children from Kashmir not work as labourers outside? Should they be called back? Is it not their right to work outside? There is freedom for everyone to work here and they will continue to work,” he said.

A befitting reply will be given to such acts, Singh said.

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