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Kashmir new source of drugs, says Punjab CM

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Srinagar, July 14: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that despite presence of large number of security personnel, Kashmir has become a new source of drugs in the country.

In an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, Singh said that a drugs supply to India was first started by Pakistan with the help of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

“It started with Pakistan and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Their security lies in destabilising us, whether in Punjab or Kashmir. So, heroin started coming from there. Gangsterism too was developed by Pakistan, and there is a link between gangsters and drugs,” he said.

 

“That has taken care of inflow of drugs and arms. What is now happening is strange. One new source of drugs is Kashmir despite so much security. The other one is Delhi where Nigerians have built a nexus,” Amarinder Singh said.

He said that the death penalty at first conviction will bring stringent checks and balances in a legal system. “It will put the fear of God into them. It’s not that. Even if two or three people are convicted and sentenced to death, it will be a deterrent. It is up to the Centre to take up our suggestion for amendment,” Punjab CM said.

Apart from routine policing and being actively involved in counterinsurgency operations, Jammu and Kashmir police has been fighting an equally aggressive war against the drug abuse and the drug mafia.

Earlier, in the year, DGP Shesh Paul Vaid, calls it a “bigger challenge” than fighting militancy.

Official statistics point out that drug seizures have increased in the recent past. A couple of consignments had even come from across the border. So far, 137 kg of heroin, including 66.5 kg smuggled from PaK in a cross-LoC truck, 175 kg of charas, 760.5 kg of cannabis (bhang), 164.5 kg of ganja, besides opium and cocaine in small qualities were seized by the police from across the state. Other seizures include 2,61,539 psychotropic substances and around 8,150 kg of opium derivatives.

As many as 1,213 people were arrested on charges of being involved in 888 cases of drug smuggling and drug abuse, the police said.

Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti earlier asked the police to “chase drug-peddlers with full force and secure the innocent youth from the clutches of drug addiction”.

 


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Voter turnout in Bijbehara, Anantnag a lesson for Mehbooba : Omar

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Kulgam, Apr 24: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that the low voter turnout in Anantnag and Bijbehara is a lesson for PDP and Mehbooba Mufti.

He asserted that the ensuing elections are significant since it provides the people of the state an opportunity to reveal how passionately they feel about their identity including Art370, Art 35-A.

Addressing two separate public meets at Chawalgam and Homeshalibug, Kulgam party vice president said that the threats of BJP-RSS to abrogate Art 370, Art 35A will be defeated as the people of the state will not allow them succeed in their nefarious designs. “ Today state is facing an assault on its special status from all sides, however all the machinations of the forces as are inimical to our status will fall flat if the people of our state show resoluteness in protecting the identity and integrity of our state. This time people across the state have taken it upon themselves to trounce the efforts as are hell bent to destroy the special constitutional status of the state,” he said adding, “Today’s elections is not about choosing MLA’s, today our state is fraught with a challenging situation. The need of the hour is to send a representative to Parliament who can fight for the interests of state, the situation that the state is facing today demands of having a credible voice at Delhi who can work tireless both within and outside parliament for the protection of Art 370, Art 35-A. Seeing the scope of work and the challenges we are facing, we considerately fielded Retired Justice Hasnain Sb from Anantnag constituency. He is known for his pronounced judgments on Art 370, Art 35 A. He boasts the necessary political and legal acumen to deal with the situation.”

 

While highlighting the importance of Art 370, Art 35 A, Omar said, “It is needless to say how important Art 370, Art 35-A are for the state and its people. Today the people of our state are masters of its own land. They work on their land, and derive their sustenance from it. God forbid, if these articles are done away with, the consequences that will follow shall be beyond our comprehension. The people of the state will stop to cleave to a respectable denomination which Sher- e- Kashmir bestowed upon them through famous land to tiller reforms and other people friendly measures. Our kids would not be able to derive various scholarships from government. The youth of our state will cease to be the sole beneficiary of jobs in government sector. Keeping in mind the far-reaching consequences of abrogation of our status, we deemed it fit to have Hasnain Masoodi represent us in parliament from Anantnag.”

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Mehbooba demands release of Yasin Malik

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday demanded the release of separatist leader Yasin Malik.

“Yasin Malik should be released immediately as he is really unwell. Also other members of Jamaat-e-Islami should be released. Sadhvi Pragya on whom there are several serious accusations has been set free,” Mufti said.

Delhi’s Patiala House Court Wednesday sent Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik to judicial custody till May 24 in connection with a 2017 alleged funding case.

 

Mehbooba also lodged a note of protest against a slew of measures brought about in the valley recently.

“After the encounter, families of militants are harassed and the cross LoC trade which was taking place through Muzaffarabad has also been stopped. The National Highway is closed for traffic for two days in a week and security forces are interfering in the daily life of people. We are protesting against all these issues,” she said. 

Elections in the state are staggered in five phases which began on April 11 and culminate on May 6. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.

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Rains lash Kashmir; weather to improve from today

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Rains continued to lash Kashmir since Tuesday evening, bringing the average temperature down in the valley.

The local meteorological department predicted improvement in weather conditions from Thursday evening.

The rains began on Tuesday evening and continued intermittently till this evening. The rains in the Valley led to dip in the temperature.

 

Deputy Director MeT, Mukhtar Ahmad said that the weather conditions in Kashmir would improve from Thursday evening.

He said the light rainfall would continue intermittently till Thursday evening following which there will be improvement in the weather.

Ahmad said that in plains the weather would improve from Thursday afternoon while in higher reaches it will start improving from the evening.

Meanwhile, an official in Meteorological department informed that Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 12.0 degrees Celsius Tuesday night against 8.9 degrees Celsius normal for this time of the season.

The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir received 3.9 mm of rain since overnight till 8:30 hours, he said.

The official said that Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, recorded a low of 10.8 degrees Celsius and had a rainfall of 6.8 mm while the mercury in Kokernag town in south Kashmir settled at a low of 9.2 degrees Celsius and it had 8.6 mm of rains during the time.

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